Fireworks go off over Raymond James Stadium after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL playoff game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)
Monday night’s television lineup was chock full of competitions — the Iowa caucuses, the Emmys and an NFL playoff game. But when it came to viewership, there was a clear winner: Football ruled the night.
Some 28.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles 32-9, making Monday’s match ESPN’s second most-watched NFL playoff game in history. The Buccaneers now advance to the divisional round against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Viewership of coverage of the Iowa caucuses paled in comparison, with an average of 4.67 million viewers across Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, according to Nielsen ratings numbers obtained by Deadline. That total is around half the viewership the caucuses raked in during the 2020 election season.
That’s probably because there wasn’t much of a competition to watch in Iowa, where former President Donald Trump’s victory over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley had long been a foregone conclusion. Trump finished with 51% support from GOP voters ― about the same as what polls predicted in the days leading up to the caucuses. Despite being under four separate criminal indictments, Trump coasted to victory in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties and triumphed among nearly every demographic.
That left Haley
That left Haley and DeSantis competing for a distant second place, with the latter eking out the former by around 2 percentage points. After a meager showing Monday night, Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out and endorsed Trump.
But the real loser of the night was the 75th annual Emmy Awards, which just 4.3 million people tuned into. That’s an all-time low for the ceremony, down 27% from the previous low of 5.92 million for the 2022 ceremony, per analysis from The Hollywood Reporter.
The awards show’s standout winners were HBO’s “Succession” and the FX and Hulu series “The Bear,” which each nabbed six wins, as well as Netflix’s limited series “Beef,” which took home five.
The night boasted a few firsts, too. Quinta Brunson, the creator behind ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” became the first Black woman to win best actress in a comedy since 1981, and comedian Ali Wong became the first-ever Asian woman to be named outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for her starring role in “Beef.”