Super Wild Card Monday Night Finale: Eagles at Buccaneers Draws 29.2 Million Viewers, ESPN’s Second Most-Watched NFL Playoff Game Ever

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Super Wild Card Monday Night Finale: Eagles at Buccaneers Draws 29.2 Million Viewers, ESPN’s Second Most-Watched NFL Playoff Game Ever

Please Note: The release below was posted on Thursday, January 18, and indicates Nielsen’s final audience number. – and is now the release of record for the Super Wild Game. This audience represents a 600k increase from Nielsen’s Fast Nationals number on Tuesday, January 16. The original release can be found here: https://bit.ly/3vFCAZp

  • ESPN’s Two Most-Watched NFL Playoff Games have Aired in Back-to-Back Seasons

ESPN’s Super Wild Card Monday night finale between the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jan. 15, 8:15 p.m. ET) generated 29.2 million viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+ and NFL+), ESPN’s second most-watched NFL playoff game in history.

ESPN’s Two Most-Watched NFL Playoff Games Have Aired in Consecutive Seasons
The Eagles-Buccaneers showdown joins last season’s Super Wild Card Monday night game, which featured the Dallas Cowboys and the Buccaneers in Tom Brady’s final game in the NFL (January 16, 2023), as ESPN’s two most-watched NFL Playoff games. When the final audience is reported, Eagles-Buccaneers is expected to surpass 29 million viewers; last season’s record-setting game drew 31,201,000 viewers.

The 29,179,000 viewers for the Buccaneers’ convincing 32-9 victory, bested ESPN’s viewership for its first eight Playoff games – a Wild Card game each season beginning in 2014 – including company’s inaugural Monday Night Super Wild Card by 26% (Cardinals at Rams, 23.2 million viewers on January 17, 2022). Seven of the eight games also aired on ABC.

Disney’s Third Most-Watched NFL Playoff Game
Extending beyond the ESPN era, Eagles-Buccaneers surpasses an additional 13 (of 14) NFL Playoff games that aired on ABC between 1996 and 2005, when the network was owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. As a result, the 2023 Super Wild Card game is Disney’s third most-watched NFL Playoff game and the most-watched Playoff game which did not feature the Cowboys.

Rank Date Game Viewership
1 January 16, 2023 Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31,201,000
2 January 2, 1999 Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys 30,744,000
3 January 15, 2024 Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28,619,000

Additional Eagles-Buccaneers Highlights:

  • The audience peaked with more than 32.7 million viewers late in the first half (9-9:30 p.m. ET)
  • Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli generated more than 1 million viewers on ESPN2

ESPN’s Super Wild Card Presentation Succeeds Monday Night Football’s Record-Breaking Regular Season
ESPN’s Super Wild Card viewership followed a record season for Monday Night Football, generating its best overall viewership in more than 23 seasons and, in the process, airing its four most-watched games since 2000.

ESPN’s First Ever Divisional Game Ahead: Houston Texans at Top-Seeded Baltimore Ravens
ESPN will air its first NFL Divisional Playoff game featuring the AFC South Champion Houston Texans at the AFC’s top-seeded Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, Jan. 20 across ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. The added Playoff game is a key component of ESPN and the NFL’s new rights agreement and will continue through the length of the deal. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Lisa Salters, Laura Rutledge and John Parry will be live from M&T Bank Stadium for the call.

ESPN’s pregame coverage will begin at 2 p.m. with Scott Van Pelt, Ryan Clark, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Spears from the stadium. More on ESPN’s coverage plans will be announced this week.

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Media Contacts:
Derek Volner: [email protected]
Lily Blum: [email protected]

 

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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