Fox’s late afternoon NFL broadcast Sunday was down some from the same week a year ago — but the most famous fan in attendance at the game may have helped drive a ratings uptick in at least one demographic.
Taylor Swift attended the Kansas City Chiefs’ 41-10 blowout of the Chicago Bears Sunday, sitting in a suite with the family of Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, whom she’s rumored to be dating. Fox’s cameras repeatedly cut to Swift in the stands during the game.
The music superstar’s presence alone wasn’t enough to lift the laugher of a game (Kansas City led 34-0 at halftime) above the same week last year, however. Fox’s telecast averaged 24.32 million viewers, the most of the weekend, but was off by about 8 percent from the 26.4 million who watched the network’s game of the week a year ago. Ratings were off by similar amounts among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 and down by slightly less (-5 percent) in adults 18-34. It was still the top broadcast of the week in all those measures, though, along with No. 1 among women of all ages.
Fox Sports even alluded to Swift’s presence at the game in a ratings note sent to press and posted on social media: “America’s Game of the Week swiftly scores the most-watched telecast of the week on any network,” it reads. (The email sent to reporters also mentions “the afterglow of Sunday,” a reference to the song “Afterglow” from Swift’s 2019 album Lover.)
Following Fox’s NFL coverage, the series premiere of Krapopolis — the latest animated series from Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon — drew 3.82 million viewers and a 1.18 rating among adults 18-49. Fox says the show was the biggest animated series debut in a decade, and in the adults 18-49 demographic, the show scored the best same-day rating for a comedy in 2023, topping NBC’s Night Court (0.98) in January.
Krapopolis’ premiere came in slightly below the season debut of The Simpsons (4.15 million viewers, 1.41 rating in adults 18-49) following an NFL telecast on the same weekend last year. A second episode of the new series lost about half of the premiere’s audience, drawing 1.9 million viewers and a 0.57 18-49 rating.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football was, as usual, a runaway leader in primetime, averaging 19.21 million viewers (up about 8 percent from a year ago). CBS’ rebroadcast of Yellowstone drew decent numbers for the second straight week, though not as strong as the NFL-assisted numbers from Sept. 17. Two season one episodes averaged 4.77 million viewers.
Sept. 26, 9: 48 a.m. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Chiefs-Bears game was up among females 12-17; that was not the case.