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AFC title game draws record ratings

A Steelers fan holds a sign during the NFL AFC Championship football game against the Jets in Pittsburgh

Another week, another record-breaking television rating for the NFL.

NFL VP of communications Brian McCarthy reports that Sunday’s Jets-Steelers game was the most watched AFC Championship game ever, with an average of 54.8 million viewers.   The NFC Championship wasn’t far behind with 51.9 million viewers.   (That was up 7% from the early game last year and the best ratings for an early window title game on FOX.)

We suspect this won’t be the last record to fall this season.   Packers vs. Steelers is a recipe for huge Super Bowl numbers.

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26 Responses to “AFC title game draws record ratings”
  1. iwishiwasindc says: Jan 24, 2011 1:13 PM

    There must be NFL football next year. 50+ million viewers for each game x many, many team-related merch purchases = $$$$$$ for all. Please get the 2011 deal done. I must have 30 Redskins items…(none of which is a BAG for my head, thank you, sarcastic ones). We keep loving our teams and buying their stuff. We are entertained and open our wallets. ….REWARD US!

  2. j0esixpack says: Jan 24, 2011 1:18 PM

    It’s simple.

    Everyone wanted to watch Rex Ryan suffer “the agony of de-feet.”

  3. melikefootball says: Jan 24, 2011 1:18 PM

    A class person that fits the city of Pittsburgh and their love of the defense.

  4. 42rye says: Jan 24, 2011 1:20 PM

    Cost of Patriots/Jets Monday Night Football/45-to-3 Butt-Whooping Party: $50.00.

    Cost of Ticket to AFC Championship Game Between the Jets/Steelers: $200.00.

    Cost of Watching Rex Ryan Throw Headset and Yell (Expletive Deleted) at the end of AFC Championship Game: Priceless!

  5. xtremetoonz says: Jan 24, 2011 1:22 PM

    And the ratings next year should be staggering with NO SEASON!

    Figure it out Owners and PA!

  6. wallyhorse says: Jan 24, 2011 1:22 PM

    Not a surprise:

    Many people didn’t venture out on Sunday because of extreme cold conditions covering much of the country, not to mention the games also having in each case teams with massive followings vs. teams in the two biggest NFL markets.

  7. ohnomrbill says: Jan 24, 2011 1:26 PM

    I know a lot of people hate to admit it but the Steelers have a nationwide fan base. Just go to any big city when the Steelers are playing in a playoff game. Black and Gold everywhere for example New Jersey where the New Jersey Jets play, to New York where they have no professional football team, Washington DC to the west coast it Steeler mania.

  8. iwishiwasindc says: Jan 24, 2011 1:49 PM

    Huge ‘Skins fan base out here…lots of guys and gals have served in VA in military or are WA fans serving on this coast. Cowboy fans run rampant in CA… :( . Fans are here and there and everywhere…and we are loyal, even in the bad times…the WAY bad times. Said it before, I grew up to me Dad cursing out Jurgenson and Kilmer and the poor man died in June before 1st SB win. Rooted his whole life for the same team and that love is now in 3rd gen. We still watched every game on at that time…’Skins or not….Gifford, Y.A., Jim, Dandy Don, Starr, Unitas, et al. Steelers have no market on mania.

  9. footballfan says: Jan 24, 2011 2:28 PM

    Huge ‘Skins fan base out here…lots of guys and gals have served in VA in military or are WA fans serving on this coast. Cowboy fans run rampant in CA… :( . Fans are here and there and everywhere…and we are loyal, even in the bad times…the WAY bad times. Said it before, I grew up to me Dad cursing out Jurgenson and Kilmer and the poor man died in June before 1st SB win. Rooted his whole life for the same team and that love is now in 3rd gen. We still watched every game on at that time…’Skins or not….Gifford, Y.A., Jim, Dandy Don, Starr, Unitas, et al. Steelers have no market on mania.

    *************

    I have traveled the world with the military. Everywhere I have gone you find something Steelers. Even the old Eastern Block countries had Steelers stuff all around. Every large city in the country has a Steelers bar full of fans on Sunday. It is amazing how many there are out there. Kinda makes ya wonder why……

  10. seanmmartin says: Jan 24, 2011 3:03 PM

    I live in Eastern Massachusetts, go to school in Vermont. I’ve seen two Pitt fans–in real life, not on television–over the past four years.

    They were roommates from Pittsburgh.

  11. ohnomrbill says: Jan 24, 2011 3:25 PM

    Vermont, if you go to school with two roommates that make the population 3. We probably could make Boston a state, nobody else live in Massachusetts either.

  12. benpgh420 says: Jan 24, 2011 3:40 PM

    @footballfan and @ohnomrbill
    Good thoughts. I too have traveled and there aren’t only Steeler Bars in every city, there are also multiple websites out there dedicated to Steeler Bars. You don’t get that with other teams which is amazing.

    @seanmmartin
    Hate to break it to you, but there’s a BIG difference between the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are a professional organization whereas the Pittsburgh Panthers are a University. Pitt is a great organization, don’t get me wrong, but the fan base isn’t there like the Steelers’ fan base.

  13. xtremetoonz says: Jan 24, 2011 3:53 PM

    Speaking to the amazing fans the Steelers have, I’m actually flying up to Pittsburgh (from Orlando) to visit my dad and watch the big game downtown. Aside from actually going to the Super Bowl, I can’t imagine a better place to be (assuming the Steelers emerge victorious!).

  14. herokravon says: Jan 24, 2011 4:00 PM

    Jets said they would win the Superbowl. Analysts said the Patriots would win the Superbowl.

    Pitt v Green Bay = highest rated Superbowl ever.

  15. pravin68 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:34 PM

    Pittsburgh is a huge football market and I dont mean just hte fans all over the country. THe entire tristate region is prime Steelers home markets and not just outliers. So when they measure the TV market of the Steelers, it should be all the areas where the vasst majority(say two thirds) of the fans are Steelers fans.

    If Steelers can generate record ratings with the likes of Seatttle and AZ, I can only imagine how much more a matchup with NFL Royaltylike GB can generate.

    Both have great road fans, but I think GB may actually generate the majority of interest in the stadium probably 55-45 or 60-40 because Steelers fans have spent enough money in recent years to go to SBs and there is bigger hunger from GB fans after a decade plus absence. Also some of the casual fans not from NFC north rivals will probably graviate towards GB because of the idiotic backlash for the Steelers so called tainted win over Seattle(forget the fact that Seattle still lost by two scores and the same Steelers team had to overcom bigger ref mistakes against Indy two playoff games earlier and still won). Some may oppose Steelers just because of the Ben scandal and some may may oppose Steeelers just because they love a new champion which is a valid reason.

    This is the matchup I was expecting in SBXXX until Dallas spoiled the expectation by getting by GB. how interesting that this long awated matchup happens in Dallas now.

  16. pravin68 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:41 PM

    Let us also give credit to the Jets. They could have folded up after a very impressive run that in another weaker year could have gotten them to the SB. But this year, they faced way too many quality opponents in the playoffs and without a bye. Their improbable near comeback kept viewers glued to the set in the 4th Q. I wonder what the quarter by quarter breakdown was.

  17. geezohman says: Jan 24, 2011 5:11 PM

    seanmmartin says:
    Jan 24, 2011 3:03 PM
    I live in Eastern Massachusetts, go to school in Vermont. I’ve seen two Pitt fans–in real life, not on television–over the past four years.

    They were roommates from Pittsburgh.

    ========================

    you just need to get out more there Sean M Martin.

    Go to school do you? make sure you take a course in Math… (the ratings were the highest) what does that tell you class?) and
    a course in Critical thinking skills.. make your parents proud.

  18. Deb says: Jan 24, 2011 5:14 PM

    @seanmartin …

    I’m from Fla. and have been a diehard Steelers fan for 33 years. I hardly ever go out without seeing a Steelers license plate or bumper sticker or someone wearing a Steelers shirt. Can think of three big Steelers bars in the area. Moved to my neighborhood a couple of years ago and the folks next door and across the street are big Steelers fans. But here it’s okay to be yourself without fear of repercussion. Maybe that’s not the case in New England.

  19. seanmmartin says: Jan 24, 2011 5:36 PM

    @Deb

    “But here it’s okay to be yourself without fear of repercussion. Maybe that’s not the case in New England.”

    What an inference! I cannot possibly see what agitated you so much.

    College football? Alabama and Bear Bryant. NFL? The Pittsburgh Steelers.

    So let’s think about who joined a community in fear of repercussion.

  20. seanmmartin says: Jan 24, 2011 5:40 PM

    @geezohman

    For a man who owns a home, I’m surprised I got that kind of response.

  21. bigbluefan1 says: Jan 24, 2011 5:49 PM

    The Steelers like the raiders and cowscum have national fan bases

  22. Deb says: Jan 24, 2011 9:17 PM

    @seanmartin …

    Silly thing … I’m not agitated. Just find it bizarre that you’ve only run into two Steelers fans in your life when I run into them every day in Fla. and have even run into them overseas. I’m not making an inference–I’m suppositioning. Could it be because Fla. is a melting pot of people from every fanbase while New England is a place (like Chicago? see the PFT story about how Pack fans were treated there) where you’d better not go out in a rival jersey?

    Your agitated and bigoted response about Ala. was uncalled for and infantile … and reinforces my suppositioning.

  23. seanmmartin says: Jan 24, 2011 10:55 PM

    @Deb

    “But here it’s okay to be yourself without fear of repercussion. Maybe that’s not the case in New England.”

    Please reread that enough times until you decide to reword it.

    What were you supposing? And how is that different from inferring, for that matter? If you would be so kind as to read off the fourth-to-last synonym of infer, that would be great.

    Please do not compare New England to Chicago, a city that has won two major sports championships since 1998. Of course they are crazy. Having that many people in one city is nuts, and holding them without a Lombardi trophy is scary.

    Also, I would like to be reminded of what I wrote that would fall under the category of “bigoted.”

  24. Deb says: Jan 24, 2011 11:47 PM

    @seanmartin …

    Oh for heaven’s sake, grow up, little boy! I said that in Fla. you can wear your colors (be yourself) without repercussion and maybe that’s not the case in New England. Do you understand the definition of the word maybe? If not, buy a dictionary, but stop throwing infantile tantrums at me. Some of us have bigger things to worry about than nonsense like this.

    And your bigotry was on display when you made those stupid comments about “Alabama, Bear Bryant … So let’s think about who joined a community in fear of repercussion.” You idiot–I was born to the South and the majority of us don’t wear hoods. Assuming that we do makes you as bigoted as any racist. You can look up stereotype while you’re looking up maybe. Now go back to class, seanmartin. I live in the real world and am past out of patience with this silliness.

    If you don’t understand the meaning of that word, buy a dictionary

  25. seanmmartin says: Jan 25, 2011 12:52 PM

    Fine, get back to work.

    I’ll take a small fry with that, too.

  26. seanmmartin says: Jan 25, 2011 12:52 PM

    And thanks for answering a total of zero (0) questions I asked, hon.

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