RAVENS-PATRIOTS PLAYOFF THRILLER ON NBC RANKS AS 3RD-MOST WATCHED SATURDAY AFC DIVISIONAL GAME ON RECORD
New England's 35-31 Victory over Baltimore Averages 34.0 Million Viewers - Up 9% From Last Year's Saturday NFC Divisional in Same Time Slot & Up 7% From Primetime AFC Saturday Divisional
Nearly 42 Million Viewers Watched the Exciting Closing Minutes
NBC Is Home of Super Bowl XLIX Three Weeks from Today - Live Game Day Coverage from Arizona Kicks Off Sunday, Feb. 1 at Noon ET
STAMFORD, Conn. - January 11, 2015 - The New England Patriots' down-to-the-wire 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in yesterday's Divisional Playoff game on NBC averaged 34.0 million viewers to rank as the third-most watched Saturday AFC Divisional game on record (dating to the advent of the people meter in 1988), according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company.
Viewership peaked at 41.6 million for the thrilling final minutes (7:30-8:04pm ET) of New England's victory, which included Tom Brady's game-winning, 23-yard scoring pass to Brandon LaFell with 5:13 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots their first lead of the game. Brady, who totaled 367 passing yards and three touchdowns, helped the Patriots overcome 14-point deficits twice in the same game - a first in NFL postseason history.
The full-game average of 34.0 million viewers posted a 9% increase over last year's NFC Divisional Playoff which was played in the similar Saturday afternoon time slot (31.1 million for Saints-Seahawks on FOX) and topped by 7% the viewership for last year's Saturday AFC Divisional Playoff, which was played in primetime (31.7 million for Colts-Patriots on CBS).
The Ravens-Patriots AFC Divisional Playoff telecast (4:36-8:04 p.m. ET) earned a 19.6 rating/37 share. The rating is tied for the second-highest for a Saturday AFC Divisional game since 1994 and ranks as NBC's highest, non-Super Bowl postseason rating since acquiring the Sunday Night Football package in 2006.
Historically, the 34.0 million viewers for Ravens-Patriots trails only the Ravens' double-overtime victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Jan. 12, 2013 (35.3 million viewers on CBS), and the Patriots' primetime win over the Tim Tebow-led Broncos on Jan. 14, 2012 (34.2 million viewers on CBS) among Saturday AFC Divisional games.
NBC is the home of Super Bowl XLIX. Live game day coverage kicks off at Noon ET from Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 1.
Top 10 Metered Markets for Ravens-Patriots
1. Boston, 45.7/75
2. Baltimore, 45.4/73
3. Providence, 35.6/53
4. Charlotte, 27.7/45
5. Buffalo, 27.4/42
6. Denver, 27.1/52
7. Las Vegas, 26.4/45
8. Norfolk, 25.5/40
9. Richmond, 24.6/38
10. Washington, D.C., 24.4/44
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