NFL Championship Games Kick Up Ratings

Continuing to soar in viewership this season, the NFL’s two Sunday Championship games posted dominating results over other competition.

In prime time, Fox’s contest between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks posted a Nielsen preliminary 15.4 rating/38 share among 18-49 viewers and 55.9 million total average viewers, up 18% over the 42 million total viewers for the NFC Championship game a year ago -- one that was aired in the afternoon on Jan. 20.

In preliminary results, the AFC game held earlier in the afternoon between the New England Patriots-Denver Broncos on CBS scored a 29.5/52 Nielsen household rating -- up 6% versus a 27.9/42 the year before for Baltimore Raven-New England Patriots game. This year's game got to 51.3 million viewers. A year ago, the game -- aired in prime time -- got to 47.7 million total viewers and earned a 14.6 rating/34 share among 18-49 viewers.

Among other networks -- no surprise here, but not one could average even a 1 rating among 18-49 viewers. ABC, NBC and CBS each tallied a 0.9 rating/2 share among 18-49 viewers. For the night, Fox was at a 12.8/32 among 18-49 viewers.

Among total viewers for the night, Fox was at 36.8 million overall average viewers; CBS, 5.7 million viewers; ABC, 4.2 million; NBC, 3.5 million, and CW, 913,000.

CBS was in reruns; ABC aired original programming; and NBC devoted the bulk of its prime-time programming to movie “Bridesmaids.”

After the NFC Championship game, Fox started up another season of “The Following,” earning a strong Nielsen preliminary 4.4 rating, up from a 3.2 rating a year ago.

 
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