HomeSportsNFLFOX Reveals Wild Ratings for Cowboys-49ers NFC Divisional Playoff Game

FOX Reveals Wild Ratings for Cowboys-49ers NFC Divisional Playoff Game

by Suzanne Halliburton
cowboys 49ers drew huge tv numbers in divisional playoff round

Love them or hate them, people tune in to watch the Dallas Cowboys. Need evidence? The Cowboys divisional playoff against the 49ers pulled in some monster ratings.

Sure, you can make a case that the 49ers played a big part in this ratings bonanza with the Cowboys. After all, they won the game. Plus, the Cowboys-49ers are an old-school NFL playoff tradition. Maybe it’s all why the game drew 45.7 million viewers. That’s according to Fox Sports, which said it was the second-most watched NFL Divisional playoff on record.

Cowboys-49ers also notched a streaming audience of 1.86 million, the biggest ever for a divisional playoff contest.

Are you curious as to which divisional playoff game sported a larger audience? That happened in 2017, when the Cowboys and Packers played, drawing a TV audience of 48.5 million.

Meanwhile, Fox also broadcast the Giants-Eagles in Saturday’s prime-time window. It drew 28.63 million. The Bengals/Bills drew 39.23 million Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Jaguars/Chiefs reeled in 32.31 million.

And the Cowboys worked that ratings magic for ESPN in the wildcard round against Tampa Bay. Sure, it also might have been Tom Brady’s final game. But for whatever reason (duh, the Cowboys were in it), the game drew 31.2 million viewers. That was the largest audience of an NFL game on ESPN and ABC since Super Bowl XL in 2006. Plus, it was the most-watched playoff game outside the Super Bowl ever seen on ESPN.

Need more proof on the Cowboys power to pull an audience? On Thanksgiving, 42 million fans flipped on Fox or its streaming app to watch Dallas beat the New York Giants, 28-20. It was the largest audience ever for a regular-season NFL game. The Giants-49ers, playing on Monday Night Football in 1990, owned the previous record of 41.55 million.

This time a year ago, the same sort of thing happened in the wildcard round. The Cowboys-49ers played at AT&T Stadium and enjoyed another ratings bonanza. An average of 41.5 million tuned in to watch San Fran beat Dallas, 23-16. It was the largest wildcard game audience since the Cowboys played the Lions in 2015. (The trend is pretty clear).

Of course, the Cowboys would prefer to win some of these games, although playing before record TV crowds is a terrific bonus. The 49ers won, 19-12, and will move on to play the Eagles with a Super Bowl trip on the line. Cincinnati and Kansas City also play Sunday for the AFC championship.

Alas, there will be no blue and silver uniforms on the screen. Whatever will CBS and Fox do without the Cowboys?