NEW ENGLAND-INDIANAPOLIS IS MOST WATCHED AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ON CBS ATTRACTS 46.7 MILLION VIEWERS AND IS MOST WATCHED AND HIGHEST RATED TELEVISION PROGRAM OF 2006-2007 SEASON
CBS Sports' coverage of the AFC Championship Game featuring the New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Jan. 21 (6:44-10:23 PM, ET), averaged 46.7 million viewers (persons 2+), up +20% from 39.0 million, in 2006 (Pittsburgh-Denver; 3:08-6:16 PM, ET) and up +5% from 2005's 44.3 million (New England-Pittsburgh; 6:37-9:50 PM, ET).
Sunday's 46.7 million was the highest number of average viewers for the AFC Championship game since New England-Miami on NBC in 1986 (47.5 million).
The 46.7 million viewers for this year's AFC Championship game was the most-watched non-Super Bowl program since the series finale of "Friends" on NBC (52.5 million on 5/6/04).
"Few things stand the test of time in today's television environment like the NFL," said Sean McManus, President CBS News & Sports. "To reach viewership numbers that have not been reached in more than 20 years really builds great momentum for our team heading into the Super Bowl."
The AFC Championship Game was the most-watched television program to date of the 2006-2007 season; +25% higher than American Idol on FOX - 37.4 million (1/16/07) and +27% higher than American Idol on 1/17/07 (36.9 million).
The AFC Championship Game viewership peaked at 57.2 million from 10:00-10:23 PM.
The 2007 AFC Championship game on CBS was the most-watched program since Super Bowl programming on ABC on 2/5/06 - 90.7 million for the game between Pittsburgh and Seattle; the Super Bowl Showcase (68.9 million, 6:19-6:26 PM); Super Bowl Post-Game (59.8 million, 10:10-10:27 PM) and Super Bowl Kick-Off III (53.3 million, 5:54-6:19 PM)
CBS Sports' coverage of the AFC Championship Game earned a 26.4/39 preliminary national household rating/share, up +12 % from last year's 23.6/44 (Pittsburgh-Denver) and up +2% from 2005's 25.8/38 (New England-Pittsburgh).
The AFC Championship game scored the highest rating for a television program to date for the 2006-07 season, beating the two primetime debut telecasts of American Idol on FOX by +30% on Tuesday 1/16/07 (20.3/29) and +31% on Wednesday 1/17/07 (20.1/30).
The 2007 AFC Championship on CBS was the highest-rated program since Super Bowl programming on ABC on 2/5/06- 41.6/62 for the game between Pittsburgh and Seattle, the Super Bowl Showcase (6:19-6:26 pm- 33.2/56), the Super Bowl Post-Game (10:10-10:27pm- 29.0/44) and Super Bowl Kick-Off III - 26.6/47 from 5:54-6:19pm.
Yesterday's AFC Championship game on CBS beat last year's Academy Awards on Sunday, 3/5/06 (the highest-rated entertainment program of the last year) by +14% (26.4/39 vs. 23.1/35).
This was the third time in four years that the AFC game out-rated the NFC Championship game.
The AFC Championship Game rating peaked at a 32.4/45 from 10:00-10:23 PM.
THE NFL ON CBS's AFC playoff average for the 2006-07 season earned a 20.1/35 preliminary national rating/share, up +1% from a 19.9/37 in 2005-06. This was the third-straight year that the AFC playoffs have beaten the NFC playoff average.