Wild Card: Despite Strong Numbers, Lions/Saints His Three-Year Low

Posted by | January 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Overnight ratings declined for the featured game of NBC’s Wild Card Saturday doubleheader, but remained among the strongest in recent memory.

Saturday’s Lions/Saints NFC Wild Card game earned a 19.3 overnight rating on NBC, down 7% from last year (NYJ/IND: 20.8), and down 2% from 2010 (DAL/PHI: 19.6). The 19.3 overnight is the lowest for the Saturday night Wild Card game since 2009 (IND/SD: 18.3).

This is the first time since 2008 that overnight ratings for the Saturday night Wild Card game have declined from the previous year.

Having said that, Saturday’s game still earned impressive numbers. Despite the three-year low, the Saints’ win drew the third-highest overnight for a Saturday Wild Card game since the 1998-99 season, behind only the aforementioned 2011 and 2010 Saturday night games.

New Orleans led all markets with a 58.2 rating. More than three-quarters of the local televisions in use were tuned to the game. Detroit (41.1) ranked second, followed by Milwaukee (29.5), Las Vegas (25.9), and Baltimore (25.2).

(Saturday’s overnights from NBC Sports Group press release via Fang’s Bites)