via press release:
NBC SPORTS SCORES BEST PRIMETIME WILD CARD RATING EVER AND BEST WILD CARD SATURDAY IN 16 YEARS
Saints-Seahawks Early Game Thriller Best Wild Card Saturday Game 1 in 20 Years
NEW YORK – January 9, 2011 – NBC Sports coverage of last night's New York Jets 17-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts earned NBC the best overnight rating for a primetime Wild Card Playoff game ever and the best for any Wild Card Saturday game in 11 years (the NFL began primetime Wild Card games in 2002). Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks 41-36 victory over the New Orleans Saints was the best Saturday Wild Card Game 1 overnight rating in two decades and the two-game average for yesterday is the best in 16 years, according to overnight data released today by The Nielsen Company.
JETS-COLTS BEST PRIMETIME SATURDAY WILD CARD EVER: The Jets-Colts game (8:15-11 p.m. ET) earned a 20.8 overnight rating and 33 share, the highest rating ever for a primetime Wild Card Saturday game and the best for any Wild Card Saturday game since the 1999 season (Arizona-Dallas, 20.9/38).
The 20.8 is six percent higher than last year’s Eagles-Cowboys game (19.6/33) which was, at the time the best since 1999, and 14 percent higher than the Colts-Chargers game in January 2009 (18.3/30).
The rating peaked 10-10:30 p.m. ET at a 23.6/38.
SAINTS-SEAHAWKS BEST IN 20 YEARS: The Saints-Seahawks game (4:30-8 p.m. ET) drew an overnight rating of 18.3 with a 33 share, the best Saturday Wild Card Game 1 in 20 years (Redskins-Eagles, 18.6/43 in the first year of the NFL’s four-game Saturday-Sunday Wild Card format).
The 18.3 is eight percent higher than last year’s Jets-Bengals game (16.9/31) and 28 percent higher than the Falcons-Cardinals Wild Card game in January 2009 (14.3/28).
The rating for the first game peaked at a 23.1/38 from 7:30-8 p.m. ET.
2-GAME WILD CARD AVERAGE BEST IN 16 YEARS: NBC Sports scored the best two-game average overnight rating for an NFL Wild Card Saturday in 16 years. NBC's Wild Card Saturday, featuring the Saints-Seahawks in the afternoon and Jets-Colts in primetime, averaged a 19.4/33, the best average for two Saturday Wild Card games since the 1994 season (20.1/41 for Lions-Packers and Chiefs-Dolphins).
The average is six percent higher than the 18.3 for last year’s two-game average and a 19 percent improvement over the 16.3/29 average for the two Wild Card Saturday games in Jan. 2009 (Falcons-Cardinals in afternoon and Colts-Chargers in primetime).
During primetime (8-11 p.m.) NBC averaged a 20.6/33 dominating its competition, delivering more than six times the primetime average of the night's No. 2 broadcast network (CBS, 3.5/6) and generating nearly three times the combined ABC-CBS-Fox rating.
8-11 p.m. Metered-Market Averages:
TOP 10 MARKETS FOR SAINTS-SEAHAWKS:
New Orleans, 54.4/73
San Diego, 21.0/42
TOP 10 MARKETS FOR JETS-COLTS
1. Indianapolis, 48.0/68
2. Baltimore, 29.9/44
3. New Orleans, 28.9/38
4. Nashville, 26.9/38
5. Boston, 25.7/40
T6. Norfolk, 25.6/37
T6. San Diego, 25.6/42
8. Pittsburgh, 25.2/37
9. Jacksonville, 24.8/36
10. Las Vegas, 24.6/38
The New York market ranked 20th with a 21.9/34