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NFL Week 3's Chiefs Game Ratings Show Swift Impact On Female Listeners And Viewers.


In usual NFL seasons, it's likely to take until the Super Bowl halftime show to generate a noticeable female audience bump. But not this year.


With Nielsen's numbers in for NFL week 3, it's clear that Sept. 24's Chicago Bears-Kansas City Chiefs matchup had a Swift impact, if you will, on not only the male/female composition of the game's radio audience, but also female TV viewers.


The Chiefs' radio play-by-play numbers, based on 6+ cume figures compiled for Inside Radio, show the audience skewing female in week 3 vs. the heavily male-leaning weeks 1 and 2, even without the benefit of the TV cutaways to Taylor Swift, rumored beau of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, in the team's press box. “There is good reason why the radio currency numbers are based on a four-week sample period and not a single week, but it sure is a curious finding,” Nielsen Senior VP/Sales Director John Snyder says.


Meanwhile, Fox's national TV coverage of the Chiefs game showed it was the highest-rated NFL game that week for females 12-17, 18-34 and 18-49, not to mention the most-watched NFL game of the week on any network, attracting 24.3 million viewers. Additionally, data from Roku TV show a 63% increase in 18-49 female viewers, compared to coverage of the team's game the prior week.


Even with the more limited coverage of Swift on radio's broadcast of the game, Nielsen's numbers comparing 6+ reach for radio vs. TV hour-by-hour suggest there may have been some overlap. “You see an inverse relationship between those watching and those listening to the game,” Snyder says. “Is it possible that radio drove those listening to the game to the television to catch a glimpse of Swift?”


From the radio side, Nielsen shows there were 236,000 listeners in the Chicago market and 182,600 from Kansas City, with the Chiefs audience delivering shares north of 50 for men 18-49 (52.0), 25-49 (54.4), and 35-49 (55.6). Taken together with the Kansas City market's TV audience, the first of what will likely be several games with Swift present averaged more than a combined 800,000 listeners and viewers for each hour of the broadcast.


The Taylor Swift effect has certainly given the NFL added exposure on non-sports-related media, such as on nightly celebrity news, late night talk shows, and a “Fox NFL Sunday” sketch on this past weekend's “Saturday Night Live.”

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