Update: 2016 viewership numbers added to table below.
Yesterday I posted the overnight TV ratings (the first information available) for the same period, but here is the game viewership for the conference championship games from 2006-2015.
Of note, only two of the three most-watched conference championship games ever are in that time period: 2010’s Saints-Vikings overtime game which is the second most-watch of all time and 2012’s Giants-49ers game, which was the third most-watched of all time.
The most-watched of all time? Two words: “The Catch.” You have to go all the way back to 1982’s Cowboys-49ers NFC Championship that averaged 68.7 million viewers — nearly an 11 million viewer advantage over the Saints-Vikings game. Even with great games and lots of snow on the ground back east, it’s hard to imagine either of today’s game’s topping the 1982 classic. Also of note: the conference championship games in 1982 were played on January 10, a full two weeks earlier than this year’s games.
NFL Conference Championships TV Viewership 2006-2016:
|Year||Early Game||Network||Viewers (Millions)||Late Game||Network||Viewers (Millions)|