NFL fans will tune in on Sunday, Nielsen data suggests
Sunday's NFL conference championship games (Eagles/Cardinals at noon PT and Ravens/Steelers at 3:30 PT) will bring football nirvana for two sets of fans and football hell for the other pair.
In years past, Nielsen Media Research reports, NFL fans watch plenty of football on conference championship Sunday. Last year, 66% of the households that watched conference championship broadcasts tuned in for both games. Neilsen reports that 85% of the AFC’s audience also watched part of the NFC game, while 75% of the NFC audience watched the earlier AFC game.
Last year’s Giants/Packers and Chargers/Patriots broadcasts attracted a record 98 million viewers -- the most for any conference championship Sunday since 1982.
Last year's NFC and AFC championship games were the second and third highest-rated television broadcasts of 2008, according to Nielsen. The two games finished ahead of the most-watched Olympics broadcast and were behind only the Super Bowl XLII broadcast that was the second most-watched U.S. television broadcast of all time.
Here are the last few years' viewer totals, courtesy of Nielsen.
Year Network Matchup Viewers
2008 FOX N.Y. Giants/Green Bay 53,937,000
2008 CBS New England/San Diego 44,840,000
2007 FOX Chicago/New Orleans 43,247,000
2007 CBS Indianapolis/New England 46,695,000
2006 FOX Seattle/Carolina 35,233,000
2006 CBS Pittsburgh/Denver 39,001,000
2005 FOX Philadelphia/Atlanta 42,937,000
2005 CBS New England/Pittsburgh 44,334,000
2004 FOX Carolina/Philadelphia 40,444,000
2004 CBS New England/Indianapolis 40,115,000
-- Greg Johnson