via press release:
35.6 MILLION VIEWERS TUNE-IN TO SEE 49ERS OUTDUEL SAINTS IN NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF THRILLER
Unforgettable Contest Is Most-Watched Saturday NFL Divisional Playoff Game Since 1988
& Highest-Rated On Any Network Since 1996
Game Also Marks Impressive +21% Ratings Increase Over 2011
Los Angeles, CA – Yesterday, one of the most memorable postseason games in NFL history took place at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Today, that game became the most-watched Saturday NFL Divisional Playoff Game in 24 years, according to fast-national figures released by Nielsen Media Research.
As Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis on a game-winning, 14-yard TD pass just moments after Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints took the lead, 35.6 million viewers witnessed one of the NFL’s proudest franchise’s secure its first playoff victory in nine years. In addition to being the most-watched Saturday Divisional Playoff since 1988, the game’s 20.5/38 fast-national household rating/share makes it the highest-rated Saturday Divisional Game on any network since 1996 (Packers at 49ers 22.2/42/32.0 million viewers) and is an impressive +21% increase over last year’s Packers at Falcons Saturday night match-up on FOX which earned a 17.0/29 and 30.8 million viewers.
Yesterday's game opened with a 16.6/34 and 26.7 million viewers at 4:36 PM ET, and peaked at a 23.6/40/42.5 million viewers from 7:30-8 PM ET. The final riveting 21 minutes of the broadcast (8:00-8:21 PM ET) averaged a 22.4/37 and 40.6 million viewers).
New Orleans led all markets with an outstanding 57.2/79 followed by San Francisco with a 32.4/72. The top five non-home markets include Sacramento 31.0/60, Milwaukee 30.9/52, Norfolk 28.0/42, Las Vegas 27.5/48 and Dayton 27.1/43.
The 49ers will face the winner of this afternoon’s New York Giants at Green Bay Packers contest in next Sunday’s NFC Championship Game on FOX at 6:00 PM ET.