EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game featuring the Kansas City Chiefs against the New York Jets -- and oh yes, the presence of pop superstar Taylor Swift -- pulled in an average of 27 million viewers, making it the most-watched Sunday show since Super Bowl LVII in February.
According to a news release from NBC Sports, preliminary ratings showed that the audience peaked at 29.4 million viewers between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. EDT, which was the second quarter of the Week 4 NFL contest.
The Jets had battled back from a 17-0 deficit to close within eight points of the defending Super Bowl champions. Kansas City eventually held on for a 23-20 victory
By comparison, Sunday night’s game audience was 22% higher than last year’s Game 4 marquee quarterback matchup between Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were led by Tom Brady, NBC Sports said. That game attracted 22 million viewers.
The biggest demographic gains Sunday night, compared to the first three weeks of “Sunday Night Football,” were among girls aged 12 to 17, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which cited NBC figures. That number leaped 53%, while there was a 24% spike among women 18 to 24. There was a 34% increase among women older than 35. All of the numbers are likely attributable to Swift’s appearance in a private box at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
NBC was citing preliminary Nielsen ratings data. Final figures will not be available until Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nielsen told NBC Sports.
Undoubtedly driven by romance rumors circulating around Swift and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, NBC’s “Taylor Made for Sunday Night” promo before the Chiefs-Jets game was viewed approximately 8 million times, Variety reported.
Last week’s game on Fox between the Chiefs and Chicago Bears, where Swift made a surprise appearance in a stadium box and watched the game with Kelce’s mother, Donna Kelce, drew an audience of 24.32 million, according to the entertainment news website.
The Kansas City and New York markets set records for share -- which is the percentage of homes with televisions in use tuned into the football game -- for the teams’ appearances on “Sunday Night Football,” according to NBC Sports. Kansas City had an 83 share, while the New York market had a 38 share.
Those were the highest numbers since “Sunday Night Football” debuted in 2006, according to the news release.
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