Sunday's telecast of the Seattle-Minnesota game drew huge TV ratings in Seattle and nationally.
Sunday’s telecast of the Seattle Seahawks-Minnesota Vikings game was the highest-rated early Sunday wild-card game in 21 years, according to numbers from NBC, which broadcast the game.
Nationally, the game had a 22.5 rating (the percent of all TVs tuned to the game) and a 44 share (the percent of all TVs in use at the time that were tuned to the game). That was the highest national rating for an early Sunday (10 a.m. Pacific time) game since a Patriots-Browns game drew a 22.0 rating and 48 share in 1995.
The Seattle-Minnesota game peaked nationally at 26.6 and 49 from 3:30-4 p.m. Eastern. And it was up 25 percent from the Cincinnati-Indianapolis game televised in the same slot on BCS last season (18.0, 36).
And with a total national viewership of 35.3 million the game ranked as the most-watched early Sunday wild-card playoff game in NFL history.
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As might be expected, the game drew huge ratings in its two local markets.
In Seattle, the game had a 50.4 rating and an 87 share, meaning only 13 percent of TVs in use at the time were watching something else.
That’s not far off the numbers for the Super Bowls the last two years. The win over Denver drew a 56.7 rating and 92 share in 2014, and the loss to the Patriots last year drew a 52.1 rating and 89 share. The 2006 Super Bowl had a 54.4 rating and 85 share, meaning a higher percentage of TV sets were tuned to Sunday’s wild-card game than the loss to the Steelers in 2006.
The numbers were comparable in Minnesota where the game drew a 50.5 rating and 82 share.
The other top three markets for the game were Buffalo (31.0, 49), New Orleans (30.76, 48) and Milwaukee (29.8, 52).
Nationally, the weekend proved anew that football —and specifically, the NFL — is king right now as three of the four games had ratings increases from last season, the only exception being the late Sunday game, which was down slightly from a game that a year ago featured perennial ratings darling Dallas.