Ratings Roundup: NFL Conference Title Games Combine to Set Audience Record

The NFL Playoffs continued an unprecedented run on Sunday, pulling in the most viewers for championship Sunday in 29 years.  An average of 53.4 million viewers watched the NFC and AFC Championships games last weekend, the most for an NFL conference championship Sunday since January 1982. The Conference Championship games averaged 53.4 million viewers on CBS and Fox Sunday, up 1% from last year (52.9 million), and up 35% from 2009 (39.6 million).

The New York Jets-Pittsburgh Steelers AFC Championship Game on CBS drew 54.8 million viewers, ranking as the most watched AFC championship ever. The previous high was in 1982 for San Diego-Cincinnati (51.620 million viewers, NBC). The game logged a 28.3 fast-national rating, the highest for an AFC Championship Game since the 1996-97 season (Jacksonville-New England, 28.5, NBC)

The Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears matchup on Fox drew 51.9 million viewers to rank as the third NFC Championship Game in four years to average more than 50 million viewers. The clash scored an average audience of 51.9 million viewers, raking it as as the most-watched NFC Championship Game ever in the early broadcast window. The game posted a 28.1/50 fast national rating/share, the highest-rated NFL Conference Championship Game in the early broadcast window on any network in 14 years (30.1, Panthers-Packers, Fox)…

… The YES Network finished the 2010 broadcast year as the most-watched RSN in the country for the eighth straight year.  YES was the most-watched RSN in the country in total day (Monday-Sunday/6a-2a) and in primetime (Monday-Sunday/7p-11p). YES averaged 72,000 primetime TV households and 32,000 total-day TV households in the New York market in 2010. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia ranked second nationally 2010 with an average of 69,000 primetime TV households and 20,000 total-day TV households…

…Through 30 games, the NBA on TNT is averaging a 1.5 U.S. rating and 2,323,000 total viewers, up 25% and 30% over last year’s corresponding  coverage.