The NFL playoffs averaged 38.5 million viewers (TV and digital), making it the most-watched postseason per records dating back to 1988, the league announced Tuesday.
The league tracked viewership for the wild card, divisional and conference championship rounds, but did not note the possible impact on ratings by music superstar Taylor Swift’s attendance at Kansas City playoff games in support of her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
The league said that more than half of Americans using television in NFL windows were watching NFL games, with a 53.3 percent share for the full playoffs the highest on record.
The 38.5 million average is a 9 percent increase from last season. The wild-card round averaged 31.2 million (up 8 percent), divisional round averaged a record 40.0 million (7 percent increase) and the AFC and NFC championship games averaged a record 56.1 million (up 11 percent).
“Our record-breaking viewership is driven by the incredible play on the field that only the NFL postseason can deliver and presented by the best media partners in the business,” Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of media distribution with the NFL, said in a news release.
The AFC champion Chiefs play the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, shown on CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon and Univision, and on mobile with NFL+.