The Margin: Jets-Chiefs is highest-rated TV show since the Super Bowl, thanks to Taylor Swift and 2 million more female viewers

The Margin: Jets-Chiefs is highest-rated TV show since the Super Bowl, thanks to Taylor Swift and 2 million more female viewers
By: market watch Posted On: October 02, 2023 View: 40

Taylor Swift continues to boost the NFL’s profile.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football game between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs averaged 27 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV show since Super Bowl LVII in February, according to NBC’s PR team.

Swift attended the Chiefs’ 23-20 win and was shown on the television broadcast several times, alongside celebrities Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. Swift has a new public friendship and rumored relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and the interest in that topic has led to increases in TV ratings for the two games Swift has attended, and to boosts in sales of NFL merchandise.

Swift’s massive fanbase has influence across all ages and all types of people, but she is particularly popular among women and girls, and that group is who propelled NBC CMCSA, +0.34% and Sunday Night Football to such lofty viewership heights.

“Viewership among teen girls (age 12-17) spiked 53% from the season-to-date average of the first three weeks of SNF, while the audience among women aged 18-24 was up 24%, and women 35+ increased 34%,” NBC said. “The collective growth resulted in an approximate viewership increase of more than 2 million female viewers.”

Viewership peaked at an estimated 29.4 million viewers between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Eastern, as the Jets attempted to claw their way back in the second quarter of the game. Last year’s Sunday Night Football games averaged 19.9 million viewers, according to same-day data released by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

In preparation for Swift’s attendance, NBC used a Swift song, “Welcome to New York,” as the theme music for its video promo of the game, which was viewed roughly 8 million times.

Since Swift was first linked to Kelce, the Chiefs tight end has enjoyed the Taylor Swift effect. For example:

  • The “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce” podcast, featuring Kelce and his brother, shot up to No. 1 on Apple’s podcast charts last week.
  • Kelce’s social-media influence has flourished, with his Instagram followers jumping from 2.7 million followers to 3.8 million in about two weeks.
  • Kelce had one of the top five highest-selling NFL jerseys last week, and sales of Kelce merchandise spiked 400% on Fanatics, the NFL’s official merchandise seller.

See also: Want to watch every NFL game this season? Here’s how much it will cost you.

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