The NFC and AFC Championship games -- two of the biggest individual TV programs of the year after the Super Bowl -- maintained big 40-million-plus viewership totals, although they registered some of the lowest numbers in several years.
Fox’s game -- the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Francisco 49ers -- was down 3% to a Nielsen-measured 42.8 million viewers from Fox’s 2019 Los Angeles Rams-New Orleans Saints game, which took in 44.1 million viewers.
The picture looks better when adding in all Fox platforms -- Fox Television Network, Fox Deportes and the Fox Sports app -- for which the company says it totaled 43.6 million viewers, down 3% from last year’s 45.0 million total.
CBS had some similar results to that of Fox’s contest --- even as its AFC Championship game ran earlier in the afternoon. Its Tennessee Titans-Kansas City Chiefs game pulled in Nielsen 41.1 million viewers, but the game was down a whopping 24% vs. the AFC Championship game of a year ago. That prime-time game a year ago resulted in a thrilling overtime win for New England Patriots over Kansas City Chiefs, pulling a massive 53.9 million average viewers.
The championship games this year are the first time since 2009 that neither contest averaged at least 44 million viewers.
The San Francisco 49ers will play the Kansas City Chiefs on February 2 in Miami for the Super Bowl. Last season’s Super Bowl on CBS averaged a Nielsen-measured 98.2 million viewers down from the 103.4 million (2018) who watched Philadelphia beat New England on NBC in 2018.
Big TV advertisers for the NFC/AFC Championship games this year -- Verizon (13 airings); Amazon Prime (7 airings); State Farm (12 airings); Progressive Insurance (12 airings), Bud Light Seltzer (8 airings); TurboTax (13 airings); Chevrolet (5 airings); Apple iPhone (9 airings); McDonald's (10 airings) and T-Mobile (11 airings), according to iSpot.tv.
Estimated combined NFC/AFC advertising spend for top marketers ranged from $23 million to $10 million.