*Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (NFL playoff game) and FOX (NFL playoff game overrun) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Of course CBS won the night, but with the Patriots winning in a blowout the ratings weren’t nearly as Tebowlicious as they could’ve been. I’ll say it again, the numbers below are preliminary, not time zone adjusted, and are only for  for 8-11pm ET (the game started at ~8:15 and ran past 11p) they almost certainly will be adjusted up a little bit in the final numbers. Depending on how much of an adjustment record viewership for the Saturday night divisional round primetime game is still possible (the record is an average of 30.9 million viewers), but it will be nowhere near the > 50 million that divine prognosticators were rooting for in our ratings poll.

Update: in the metered market household ratings (which are for the full game and time zone adjusted,  it did set a record for a Saturday division round primetime game and was the highest rated AFC divisional playoff in 18 years.

Fox was second on the night boosted by a little bit of the afternoon game (Saints/49ers) running into primetime in the eastern and central timezones (now THAT was an exciting game!).

The lack of a close game in New England might have aided Miss America and ABC – the pageant was up 13% versus last year to a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating between 9-11p.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Saturday, January 14, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS NFL Playoff:  Broncos at Patriots  9.7/26 28.37
FOX NFL Playoff Overrun/Cops 8.9/24 25.12
ABC Wipeout (R) 0.8/2 2.91
NBC The Firm (R) 0.4/1 2.17
8:30 FOX Cops 1.9/5 5.22
9:00 CBS NFL Playoff:  Broncos at Patriots  12.3/31 33.63
ABC Miss America Pageant 1.6/4 5.65
FOX Terra Nova (R) 0.7/2 2.21
NBC The Firm (R) 0.4/1 2.34
10:00 CBS NFL Playoff:  Broncos at Patriots  9.7/26 25.18
ABC Miss America Pageant 2.1/6 7.71
NBC Law & Order: SVU (R) 0.7/2 3.41

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.  More information on ratings is available here.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Fast National Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live baseball game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.
For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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