AFC, NFC Title Games Most Watched Since 1980’s
Last weekend’s AFC and NFC Championship games reached their largest audiences since the 1980’s. The AFC title game on CBS was seen by an average of 46.9 million viewers, the most people since a New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins tilt in 1986 (47.5 million viewers). This year’s final NFC matchup on Fox attracted 57.9 million viewers, the most since San Francisco beat Dallas on “The Catch” in 1982 and the most watched non- Super Bowl program since the series finale of Seinfeld 12 years ago.
In terms of overnight ratings, the AFC Championship on CBS scored a 28.4 rating, the highest number for an AFC Championship Game in 16 years. The Indianapolis Colts’ 30-17 victory over the New York Jets was up 19% from last year’s AFC Championship, which notched a 23.8. The rating was the game’s highest number since NBC’s coverage put up a 29.5 in 1994. The game rating peaked at a 32.0 from 5:30-6:00 p.m. ET.
Fox earned a 33.3 overnight Nielsen rating for the New Orleans Saints’ 31-28 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings from, marking the best NFC Championship overnight rating since the network earned a 34.2 for a 49ers-Cowboys matchup in 1995. Saints-Vikings was up 38.8% from a 24.0 overnight for last year’s NFC Championship game.