After having immense success with its first NFL Wild Card game broadcast in 2021, Nickelodeon (and its parent company CBS) decided to feature another game on the kid-focused network this year. The Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers game was offered on CBS, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, and Nickelodeon.
The Nickelodeon broadcast, of course, looked very different. The channel focused on including kids in the NFL world. There was plenty of rule explaining, appearances from Nickelodeon cartoon characters, SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star as the goal post nets, and of course tons of slime.
According to reports, the broadcast on both CBS and Nickelodeon averaged over 41.5 million views. The game peaked at 50.2 million.
This makes the contest the most-watched Wild Card game in seven years. The last Wild Card game with high ratings was also a Dallas game when over 42 million people watched the 2015 Lions vs. Cowboys game.
Despite being in a smaller TV market than other NFL teams, Cowboys continue to get big TV ratings for their games
These massive ratings also meant that the Wild Card game was the second most-watched program on any network since Super Bowl 55. This seems to be a repeat pattern for Dallas.
Despite being in a TV market of only three million households (putting them behind the Giants, Chargers, Rams, Bears, Jets, and Eagles), Dallas games continue to bring huge success for the NFL. The Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game against the Raiders had nearly 41 million viewers.
In fact, during the regular season, Dallas played in five of the top ten highest viewed games in the NFL. Those games were:
- Week 12 – Cowboys vs Raiders on CBS – 40.8 million
- Week 11 – Cowboys vs Chiefs on FOX – 27.8 million
- Week 16 – Browns vs Packers on FOX – 28.6 million
- Week 12 – Bears vs Lions on FOX – 28.2 million
- Week 4 – Bucs vs Patriots on NBC – 27.2 million
- Week 17 – Cardinals vs Cowboys on FOX – 26.8 million
- Week 12 – Rams vs Packers on FOX – 25.2 million
- Week 1 – Cowboys vs Bucs on NBC – 25.2 million
- Week 9 – Packers vs Chiefs on FOX – 25.0 million
- Week 2 – Cowboys vs Chargers on CBS – 25.0 million
Some may argue that the Cowboys aren’t America’s Team, but the ratings seem to say otherwise. Sadly, we will have to wait until next season to view more Dallas football.