Update: the game averaged nearly 52 million viewers in preliminary non time-zone adjusted numbers.  In the New Orleans market the game had an 82 percent share (more than 8 out of 10 homes in NoLa  that were watching TV were watching the game).

Finally, a gripping NFL playoff game!  Perhaps not the best football, but a great game. I can’t wait to see the ratings for tonight’s game.   The best line I saw on Twitter came from CBS communications SVP Chris Ender who wrote as the game was entering overtime:

My contrarian streak is in tact.  CBS gets the match-up of Colts/Saints in the Super Bowl and  I predicted it would be CBS’ least preferred match-up of the possible outcomes entering the day.  But I noted CBS was in a no-lose situation as all the possible outcomes were good ones.

People who participated in the poll didn’t agree with my number one choice of Jets/Vikings and overwhelmingly voted that a Vikings/Colts match-up would produce the best ratings.  Jets/Vikings narrowly defeated Colts/Saints for second place in the poll.

Getting the teams with the best records in each conference and Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.  Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian and Saints fans everywhere are happy, too!

CBS will no doubt miss Favre/Vikings in the Super Bowl, but tonight’s ratings should be epic for FOX.

Historical numbers:

Favre’s last NFC Championship with the Packers (Jan 2008) averaged 53.9 million viewers (the most since 1995), and the most ever for an NFC Championship was the January 1982 San Francisco/Dallas matchup (which featured “The Catch”) which averaged 68.7 million.

Last year, the NFC Championship (Arizona/Philadelphia) was the early game and averaged 38.4 million viewers, the AFC Championship (Steelers/Ravens) was the late game that went into primetime and averaged 40.6 million.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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