NFL Playoffs Numbers Game (Ratings and Viewership Dating Back to ’02)

Posted by | February 12, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Ratings and viewership for every NFL playoff game over the past decade (from the 2001-02 season through the 2011-12 season).

The 2012 NFL playoffs averaged approximately 44.3 million viewers across NBC, FOX and CBS, slightly down from last year. The postseason included the most-viewed Wild Card game ever (PIT/DEN: 42.371M, CBS), the most-viewed Divisional Round game ever (NYG/GB: 45.120M, FOX), the second-most viewed Conference Championship game in thirty years (NYG/SF: 57.635M, FOX), and the most-viewed television program in U.S. history (NYG/NE: 111.346M, NBC).

Five playoff games this year earned over 40 million viewers, the largest total of the past decade. As recently as the 2005-06 season, only one playoff game hit that mark — the Super Bowl.

Ratings/Viewership For NFL Playoff Games
Past decade

Date Time Game Net Rating Viewers (000)
2011-12 season
Sat., 1/7/12 4:30 PM CIN 10, HOU 31
NBC
13.5
21,893
8 PM DET 28, NO 45
NBC
18.2
31,780
Sun., 1/8/12 1 PM ATL 2, NYG 24
FOX
17.3
27,735
4:30 PM PIT 23, DEN 29
CBS
24.0
42,371
Sat., 1/14/12 4:30 PM NO 32, SF 36
FOX
20.5
35,601
8 PM DEN 10, NE 45
CBS
18.5
34,161
Sun., 1/15/12 1 PM HOU 13, BAL 20
CBS
19.0
30,963
4:30 PM NYG 37, GB 20
FOX
25.3
45,120
Sun., 1/22/12 3 PM BAL 20, NE 23
CBS
27.4
48,676
6:30 PM NYG 20, SF 17
FOX
30.6
57,635
Sun., 2/5/12 6:30 PM NYG 21, NE 17
NBC
47.0
111,346
2010-11 season
Sat., 1/8/11 4:30 PM NO 36, SEA 41
NBC
16.8
28,304
8 PM NYJ 17, IND 16
NBC
18.7
33,350
Sun., 1/9/11 1 PM BAL 30, KC 7
CBS
17.1
28,384
4:30 PM GB 21, PHI 16
FOX
22.1
39,274
Sat., 1/15/11 4:30 PM BAL 24, PIT 31
CBS
19.4
34,009
8 PM GB 48, ATL 21
FOX
17.0
30,817
Sun., 1/16/11 1 PM SEA 24, CHI 35
FOX
19.1
32,493
4:30 PM NYJ 28, NE 21
CBS
24.2
43,463
Sun., 1/23/11 3 PM GB 21, CHI 14
FOX
28.1
51,884
6:30 PM NYJ 19, PIT 24
CBS
28.3
54,850
Sun., 2/6/11 6:30 PM GB 31, PIT 25
FOX
46.0
111,010
2009-10 season
Sat., 1/9/10 4:30 PM NYJ 24, CIN 14
NBC
15.2
25,048
8 PM PHI 14, DAL 34 NBC
18.0
32,124
Sun., 1/10/10 1 PM BAL 33, NE 14 CBS
16.9
27,413
4:30 PM GB 45, ARI 51 FOX
19.6
34,406
Sat., 1/16/10 4:30 PM ARI 14, NO 45 FOX
16.1
27,910
8 PM BAL 3, IND 20 CBS
17.0
30,569
Sun., 1/17/10 1 PM DAL 3, MIN 34 FOX
22.0
37,669
4:30 PM NYJ 17, SD 14 CBS
20.1
35,627
Sun., 1/24/10 3 PM NYJ 17, IND 30 CBS
26.3
46,917
6:30 PM MIN 28, NO 31 FOX
30.6
57,933
Sun., 2/7/10 6:30 PM NO 31, IND 17
CBS
45.0
106,476
2008-09 season
Sat., 1/4/09 4:30 PM ATL 24, ARI 30 NBC
13.1
20,953
8 PM IND 17, SD 23 NBC
16.1
27,792
Sun., 1/5/09 1 PM BAL 27, MIA 9 CBS
15.0
23,893
4:30 PM PHI 26, MIN 14 FOX
17.6
30,026
Sat., 1/10/09 4:30 PM BAL 13, TEN 10 CBS
15.4
25,453
8 PM ARI 33, CAR 13 FOX
13.8
23,776
Sun., 1/11/09 1 PM PHI 23, NYG 11 FOX
18.7
31,358
4:30 PM SD 24, PIT 35 CBS
19.6
34,107
Sun., 1/18/09 3 PM PHI 25, ARI 32 FOX
21.9
38,387
6:30 PM BAL 14, PIT 23 CBS
22.0
40,645
Sun., 2/1/09 6:30 PM PIT 27, ARI 23
NBC
42.0
98,732
2007-08 season
Sat., 1/5/08 4:30 PM WSH 14, SEA 35 NBC
14.0
22,994
8 PM JAX 31, PIT 29 NBC
15.0
25,736
Sun., 1/6/08 1 PM NYG 24, TB 14 FOX
15.1
22,973
4:30 PM TEN 6, SD 17 CBS
16.7
26,628
Sat., 1/12/08 4:30 PM SEA 20, GB 42 FOX
17.0
28,200
8 PM JAX 20, NE 31 CBS
17.9
30,896
Sun., 1/13/08 1 PM SD 28, IND 24 CBS
20.2
31,573
4:30 PM NYG 21, DAL 17 FOX
23.6
40,063
Sun., 1/20/08 3 PM SD 12, NE 21 CBS
25.7
44,840
6:30 PM NYG 23, GB 20 FOX
29.0
53,937
Sun., 2/3/08 6:30 PM NYG 17, NE 14 FOX
43.1
97,448
2006-07 season
Sat., 1/6/07 4:30 PM KC 8, IND 23 NBC
12.6
19,700
8 PM DAL 20, SEA 21 NBC
16.4
26,767
Sun., 1/7/07 1 PM NYJ 16, NE 37 CBS
17.3
?
4:30 PM NYG 20, PHI 23 FOX
18.2
29,704
Sat., 1/13/07 4:30 PM IND 15, BAL 6 CBS
16.4
26,198
8 PM PHI 24, NO 27 FOX
16.3
27,440
Sun., 1/14/07 1 PM SEA 24, CHI 27 FOX
19.9
31,594
4:30 PM NE 24, SD 21 CBS
20.6
34,219
Sun., 1/21/07 3 PM NO 14, CHI 39 FOX
25.1
43,247
6:30 PM NE 34, IND 38 CBS
26.4
46,695
Sun., 2/4/07 6:30 PM IND 29, CHI 17 CBS
42.6
93,184
2005-06 season
Sat., 1/7/06 4:30 PM WSH 17, TB 10 ABC
14.2
21,818
8 PM JAX 3, NE 28 ABC
13.9
22,551
Sun., 1/8/06 1 PM CAR 23, NYG 0 FOX
15.1
22,773
4:30 PM PIT 31, CIN 17 CBS
18.9
30,369
Sat., 1/14/06 4:30 PM WSH 10, SEA 20 FOX
15.8
24,269
8 PM NE 13, DEN 27 CBS
16.1
26,254
Sun., 1/15/06 1 PM PIT 21, IND 18 CBS
20.9
33,861
4:30 PM CAR 29, CHI 21 FOX
19.7
32,699
Sun., 1/22/06 3 PM PIT 34, DEN 17 CBS
23.6
39,001
6:30 PM CAR 14, SEA 34 FOX
20.8
35,233
Sun., 2/5/06 6:30 PM PIT 21, SEA 10 ABC
41.6
90,745
2004-05 season
Sat., 1/8/05 4:30 PM STL 27, SEA 20 ABC
14.6
21,882
8 PM NYJ 20, SD 17 ABC
16.0
25,763
Sun., 1/9/05 1 PM DEN 34, IND 49 CBS
16.3
24,946
4:30 PM MIN 31, GB 17 FOX
18.4
30,099
Sat., 1/15/05 4:30 PM NYJ 17, PIT 20 CBS
18.2
29,401
8 PM STL 17, ATL 47 FOX
14.0
23,700
Sun., 1/16/05 1 PM MIN 14, PHI 27 FOX
19.4
29,968
4:30 PM IND 3, NE 20 CBS
23.2
37,980
Sun., 1/23/05 3 PM ATL 10, PHI 27 FOX
25.8
42,937
6:30 PM NE 41, PIT 27 CBS
25.8
44,334
Sun., 2/6/05 6:30 PM NE 24, PHI 21 FOX
41.1
86,072
2003-04 season
Sat., 1/3/04 4:30 PM TEN 20, BAL 17 ABC
14.6
22,654
8 PM DAL 10, CAR 29 ABC
15.4
24,664
Sun., 1/4/04 1 PM SEA 27, GB 33 FOX
19.1
29,313
4:30 PM DEN 10, IND 41 CBS
16.5
26,150
Sat., 1/10/04 4:30 PM CAR 29, STL 23 FOX
16.6
25,362
8 PM TEN 14, NE 17 CBS
15.9
25,915
Sun., 1/11/04 1 PM IND 38, KC 31 CBS
19.7
30,458
4:30 PM GB 17, PHI 20 FOX
23.8
39,487
Sun., 1/18/04 3 PM IND 14, NE 24 CBS
24.7
40,115
6:30 PM CAR 14, PHI 3 FOX
23.2
40,444
Sun., 2/1/04 6:30 PM NE 32, CAR 29 CBS
41.4
89,795
2002-03 season
Sat., 1/4/03 4:30 PM IND 0, NYJ 41 ABC
13.0
19,663
8 PM ATL 27, GB 7 ABC
16.0
26,319
Sun., 1/5/03 1 PM CLE 33, PIT 36 CBS
18.1
27,450
4:30 PM NYG 38, SF 39 FOX
18.2
29,834
Sat., 1/11/03 4:30 PM PIT 31, TEN 34 CBS
18.1
28,514
8 PM ATL 6, PHI 20 FOX
14.8
24,931
Sun., 1/12/03 1 PM SF 6, TB 31 FOX
18.3
28,120
4:30 PM NYJ 10, OAK 30 CBS
22.1
35,137
Sun., 1/19/03 3 PM TB 10, PHI 27 FOX
23.8
38,741
6:30 PM TEN 24, OAK 41 CBS
24.6
41,456
Sun., 1/26/03 6:30 PM TB 48, OAK 21 ABC
40.7
88,637
2001-02 season
Sat., 1/12/02 4:30 PM TB 9, PHI 31 ABC
13.1
n/a
8 PM NYJ 24, OAK 38 ABC
13.9
22,029
Sun., 1/13/02 1 PM SF 15, GB 25 FOX
16.8
n/a
4:30 PM BAL 20, MIA 3 CBS
16.8
n/a
Sat., 1/19/02 4:30 PM PHI 33, CHI 19 FOX
17.1
26,610
8 PM OAK 13, NE 16 CBS
17.4
28,723
Sun., 1/20/02 1 PM BAL 10, PIT 27 CBS
17.9
27,048
4:30 PM GB 17, STL 45 FOX
19.5
30,801
Sun., 1/27/02 12:30 PM NE 24, PIT 17 CBS
21.2
33,313
4 PM PHI 24, STL 29 FOX
22.7
37,429
Sun., 2/3/02 6:30 PM NE 20, STL 17 FOX
40.4
86,801

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/2SXUVOZCVS455CPRNXAXBMH2SE James

    Thank you so much for posting these numbers. The NFL audience has gotten so huge over the years as you can see from 2001 to now in 2011 that they’ve grown about 15 million new viewers on average. Starting in 2009 the playoff numbers really grew for each game in each slot. The CIN-HOU game looked average on paper when the numbers first came out but its one of the highest rated opening wild card games of all-time and bigger than the comparable ATL-ARZ matchup in 2007-08. Houston will be a team that really grows its national audience next season and Detroit so look out for those two teams ratings next season.

    I think a huge reason why the NFL is up over the last 5 years is b/c of Sunday Night Football I think that program alone has helped put a premium on watching games on Sunday night and now new fans who watched those Sunday night ones have adapted to watching the NFL.