Raiders-Texans Wild Card Game Delivers Total Live Audience of 25,632,000 Viewers


Raiders-Texans Wild Card Game Delivers Total Live Audience of 25,632,000 Viewers

On TV: Fourth Most-Watched Saturday Afternoon NFL Wild Card Game among Viewers in 16 years

The Saturday afternoon NFL Wild Card game on ESPN and ABC – a Houston Texans 27-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders – delivered a total live audience (TV + Streaming) of 25,632,000 average viewers according to Nielsen fast nationals.

Raiders-Texans is up from last year’s Wild Card game on ESPN and ABC (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans), which delivered a total live audience of 25,599,000 average viewers. It is also up 14 percent from the 2015 Wild Card game on ESPN (Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers), which delivered a total live audience of 22,454,000 average viewers.

On ESPN and ABC, the game delivered 25,341,000 viewers and a 14.6 US household rating. The game rating peaked during the 5:45-6 p.m. quarter hour with 28,218,000 viewers and a 16.3 household rating. On TV, this is the fourth most-watched Saturday afternoon NFL Wild Card game among viewers in 16 years.

ESPN’s streaming audience for Raiders-Texans attracted an additional average minute audience of 210,000 viewers across the ESPN and ESPN Deportes streams, a 52 percent gain year-over-year. Between the two streams there were 466,000 viewers who watched 45.2 million live minutes – up 22 and 58 percent year-over-year, respectively. Viewers stayed with the streams for an average of 97 minutes, which is the highest number for an NFL game on WatchESPN this season and up 30 percent year-over-year.

The game delivered a combined 17.8 television rating in San Francisco (this market includes Oakland and San Jose) – the highest rating in this market for a Saturday afternoon Wild Card game since 2007 – and a 31.2 rating in Houston. The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): Norfolk (24.8), Richmond-Petersburg (24.1), Sacramento (22.8), Atlanta (22.2), Kansas City (21.7), Las Vegas (21.1), San Antonio (19.6), Austin and Portland (19.3) and Charlotte (18.9).

Please note: Final ratings/viewership for Raiders-Texans will be available later this week. Total live audience includes ESPN and ESPN Deportes (TV + Streaming) and ABC TV. Comparisons above are based on the final ratings/viewership for Chiefs-Texans (in 2016) and Cardinals-Panthers (in 2015). ESPN and ABC are reporting audience data for the Wild Card game the way it was sold to advertisers, as a gross rating across both networks.

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Allie Stoneberg

I advance ESPN’s communications and publicity efforts for NFL studio programming, Monday Night Football, the NFL Draft and our coverage of the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. I enjoy meeting journalists in person at games and events and delight in showing them around our Bristol, Conn., campus.
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