The riveting Minnesota Vikings/New Orleans Saints overtime game Sunday night on Fox brought in monstrous ratings locally and nationally.
Nationally, the NFC Championship game drew 57.9 million viewers, Nielsen reports. That’s more than twice as much as “American Idol” last week. And it’s the second highest NFC game ever in terms of ratings. The highest was 1982 (49ers/Cowboys) with 68.7 million, which featured the Joe Montana to Dwight Clark “catch.” Last year’s NFC championship (Arizona/Philadelphia), which aired in the afternoon, took home 38.4 million.
Locally, the game did better than the national average with a 36.2 rating and 49 percent of TVs that were on tuned to the game on Fox. (Nationally, those numbers were 30.6/45). That equals 2.26 million people, peaking at 2.6 million at 10 p.m.. For a relative scale, the typical top-rated show in Atlanta might draw 300,000 to 400,000 viewers. UGA games often draw 600,000 to 700,000, as does “American Idol.”
The AFC game between the Jets and the Colts also did better than average, bringing in more than 50 million viewers. In Atlanta, it drew 1.9 million viewers. According to CBS, which aired that game Sunday afternoon, this was the best AFC championship performance in 16 years.
The NFL overall this year has seen ratings jump over last year almost across the board.