The NFL saw a TV ratings increase in both time slots for Conference Championship Sunday.
The early game, the Broncos’ win over the Patriots, saw a massive ratings number for what may have been the final chapter of the Peyton Manning–Tom Brady saga. According to Variety, the game drew a 31.8 overnight rating, a 9 percent increase from last year’s 29.1 overnight rating for the Seahawks-Packers early game. The 31.8 rating is the highest for an AFC Championship Game since the famous Broncos-Browns game in which John Elway led The Drive, 29 years ago.
The later game’s rating wasn’t as strong, a 26.8 overnight, but was still up 19 percent from last year’s 24.2 overnight rating for the Patriots-Colts game.
With higher ratings in both broadcast windows, the NFL, CBS and FOX all have to be very pleased with the way Conference Championship Sunday played out. And with a ready-made storyline of the legendary Manning against the young star Cam Newton, Super Bowl 50 could be the most-watched television show in American history.