NFL-'Swift effect' prompts viewership spike for Chiefs-Jets game

FILE PHOTO: Sep 24, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Taylor Swift reacts while watching the Kansas City Chiefs vs Chicago Bears game during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 win over the New York Jets on Sunday was the most watched Sunday show since the Super Bowl with an average of 27 million TV viewers, including millions of teenage girls who tuned into the game attended by pop star Taylor Swift, NBC Sports said on Monday.

A rumored relationship between Swift and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has sent interest sky-rocketing in Super Bowl champion Kansas City. In another sign of "the Swift Effect," sales of Kelce's jersey surged after Swift's appearance at his Week 3 home game.

Swift brought several celebrity friends to her luxury box digs at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to watch the Chiefs eke out the nail-biting victory, as fans once again reveled in her appearance on social media.

Viewership among teen girls aged 12-17 spiked 53% from the season-to-date average for Sunday Night Football, part of an approximate increase of more than 2 million female viewers, according to an NBC Sports release. The audience among women aged 18-24 was up 24%.

The Sunday night game was up 22% overall from last year's Week 4 prime-time affair across network NBC and digital platforms.

The broadcast featured ads for the forthcoming concert film "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" and on several occasions cut to Swift, who cheered on the Kansas City team enthusiastically, while commentators made references to her song lyrics.

Women have comprised roughly half of the NFL audience for years but Swift's appearance at the very same stadiums where she has sold out concerts has prompted an additional surge of interest among female fans.

Swift had also appeared at the Chiefs' Week 3 game at home at which the champions pummeled the Chicago Bears 41-10. The buzz surrounding her appearance there sent the ticket resale market surging for future Chiefs games.

The Chiefs, who extended their record this season to 3-1 with the win, next play the Minnesota Vikings on the road on Sunday.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Additional reporting by Dawn Chmielewski)

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