NBC executives can relax and enjoy Sunday’s Golden Globes broadcast — the show might already be a TV ratings hit.
This weekend, the annual Golden Globe Awards follow the NFL’s NFC Wild Card game, when the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles visit the Chicago Bears, which is a “Sunday Night Football” on NBC production. The game kicks off at 4:40 p.m. ET, with the Globes slated to start at 8/7c.
That’s a pretty damn good lead-in.
Wild Card Weekend’s late-afternoon Sunday slot, which has historically gone to Fox, is usually the most-watched game of the playoffs’ opening round (and of the NFL season-to-date).
Over the last three years, that time slot has averaged 36.4 million viewers. Last year, Fox drew 31.2 million viewers for the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers matchup, which was actually down quite a bit from what that time slot typically gets. In the prior two years, both aired by Fox, the late-Sunday game surpassed 38-million viewers.
This is the first time that NBC will get the prime late-Sunday afternoon time slot during the opening round of the NFL playoffs. The network, which airs one game during Wild Card Weekend and one game during next week’s Divisional Round, typically gets one of the two Saturday games each weekend.
In other words, it’s a dream opening act for the Golden Globes — but what happens if the game goes into triple overtime?
The only risk in putting a live sporting event so close to the beginning of another live event is what happens if a game goes longer than expected and starts to bleed into the Golden Globes time slot? While NBC would probably be okay with that — a close finish to an NFL playoff game would mean gargantuan TV ratings — it seems that the show would at least be held back for the game to finish.
“We plan to air both live in their entirety,” an NBC Sports spokesman told TheWrap.
This whole thing sets NBC up to buck one of the more glaring and concerning trends in TV ratings. Over the past few years, awards show viewership has generally dropped with each passing season. Below are some of the harsher major drops from 2017 to 2018 in terms of the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic:
Academy Awards: -24% (6.9 vs. 9.1)
Grammys: -24% (6.0 vs. 7.8)
CMAs: -34% (2.1 vs. 3.2)
American Music Awards: -25% (1.8 vs. 2.4)
Comparatively, the Golden Globes only slipped 11 percent from ’17 to ’18, drawing 19 million viewers and a 5.0 rating in the demo. Expect this year’s show to plant a cleat in the turf, jump-cut and reverse field.