TVratings highest since 1986 forAFC title game
The Broncos’ 20- 18 victory Sunday over the New England Patriots on CBS was the highest- rated AFC championship game in 30 years and the second mostwatched AFC title game on record.
The game, the first of the two conference title games aired Sunday, pulled in a rating/ share of 29.3/ 51 ( 29.3 percent of households tuned in and 51 percent of households withTVs in use watched the game). The NFC championship game between the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals on Fox drew 24.1/ 37. The previous high was achieved by the New England Patriots- Miami Dolphins conference title game on NBC on Jan. 12, 1986, which earned 32.4/ 56.
It was the second mostwatched AFC championship game in either time slot and on any network, drawing 53.3 million viewers and trailing only the New York Jets- Pittsburgh Steelers game Jan. 23, 2011 that was aired by CBS ( 54.9 million). Sunday’s NFC championship gameon Fox, by comparison, drew 45.7 million viewers.
Viewership for the Broncos’ AFC title victory peaked with an average of 62.9 million viewers from 4 to 4: 30 p. m., when the Patriots scored late in the game to close Denver’s lead to the final two- point margin.