via press release:
57.6 MILLION WATCH NFC CHAMPIONSHIP OVERTIME THRILLER ON FOX
Sunday’s Giants/49ers Battle Ties 2010’s Vikings/Saints
As Highest-Rated Conference Title Game Since 1996
NFL on FOX Regular & Postseason Combine for Network’s Most-Watched Ever
New York – Yesterday’s epic 2012 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME on FOX between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers delivered an extraordinary 30.6/44 fast-national rating/share according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research. The overtime battle scored an average audience of 57.6 million viewers to rank as the third most-watched Conference Championship Game ever, after the 1982 Cowboys-49ers NFC Championship Game (68.7 million viewers on CBS) and 2010’s overtime Vikings-Saints NFC Championship (57.9 million viewers on FOX).
The rating for Sunday’s battle for the NFC crown ties with 2010’s game (Vikings/Saints – 30.6/45) as the highest-rated NFC Championship Game since 1996 (Packers/Cowboys – 33.3/58).
Last night’s fast-national rating of 30.6/44 is a +9% gain over last year’s 28.1/50 for Packers/Bears in the early window and +8% better than last year’s 28.3/43 for Jets/Steelers in the late window on CBS. Ratings climbed to extraordinary levels as the game progressed toward overtime, peaking at an astounding 36.9/52 rating and 69.0 million viewers from 10:00 – 10:30 PM ET.
The 2012 NFC Playoffs on FOX averaged a 23.9/43 (42.6 million viewers) making it the network’s most-watched NFL Playoffs ever. The average for FOX Sports’ coverage of the NFC’s Wild Card, Divisional and Conference Championship rounds is up +11% over last year’s 21.6/39 (38.7 million) and is FOX’s highest-rated NFL Playoffs since 1996’s 25.1/48 (37.2 million). The complete 2011-12 NFL season on FOX averaged over 23.2 million viewers for the regular season and playoffs combined, making it FOX’s most-watched NFL season ever, excluding Super Bowls.
San Francisco posted a 47.4/77, the second highest-rated NFL on FOX postseason game ever in the City by the Bay. New York notched a 41.8/58, FOX’s best NFL rating ever in the Big Apple for a non-Super Bowl game. After the Patriots punched their ticket to Super Bowl XLVI earlier in the evening, Boston tuned-in to find out who New England’s opponent would be, posting a 35.1/49, Boston’s highest-rating NFL on FOX non- Super Bowl playoff game. Other metered markets of note include Los Angeles (28.4/49) and Detroit (30.2/42).