The NFC Championship Game’s television audience was strong, but diminished somewhat by the lopsided score.
Fox announced that the Eagles’ 31-7 win over the 49ers drew an average of 47.5 million viewers. That’s a strong number relative to anything else on TV, but not great for a conference championship game. The Rams’ win over the 49ers in last year’s NFC Championship Game, which was tied until late in the fourth quarter, drew 50.4 million viewers. This year’s AFC Championship Game, a back-and-forth contest that was close until the final moment, drew 53.1 million viewers.
Sunday’s 49ers-Eagles audience peaked at 52.3 million viewers during the third quarter. As is usually the case for blowouts, the audience declined once the game got out of hand, and lower viewership in the fourth quarter dragged down the average.
Despite the NFC blowout, this year’s two conference championship games combined to average the best audience for conference championship Sunday since the 2013 season, when the league saw its all-time conference championship game high-water mark thanks to an AFC battle between Peyton Manning’s Broncos and Tom Brady‘s Patriots, and an NFC grudge match between the Seahawks and the 49ers.