After seeing its most-watched Divisional Playoff Weekend, the NFL saw a drop for Conference Championship Sunday. While both games drew over 40 million viewers, the numbers were down from last year when both games garnered over 50 million.

The NFC Championship on Fox which was in the early window this year saw a rating of 27.4 with a share of 51. Good numbers, but down from last year’s AFC Championship Game on CBS between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots which was in the early window in 2014. The AFC Championship received a whopping 28.1/51.

Green Bay-Seattle drew a very good 49.8 million viewers, but that’s down from the AFC’s 51.3 million in the early window last year. And compared to last year’s NFC Championship which was played late, it’s way down from 55.9 million.

The AFC Championship on CBS averaged a 22.6 rating and 42.1 million viewers, down from Fox’s 28.5 rating and the aforementioned 55.9 million viewers for the NFC Championship Game in the late window last year.

A lot had to do with both games not being compelling for the most part. The NFC Championship until Seattle’s onside kick was recovered was a boring game and then viewership began to rise, peaking at 60.5 million as the game went into overtime.

Of course, the AFC Championship was a 38-point blowout for the Patriots and there was no reason to watch after the 3rd quarter. While the AFC game fared lower than the previous year, it did give a boost to CBS’ freshman drama Scorpion which benefited from the football lead-in.

Even with the lower numbers for the Conference Championship games, NBC has to feeling bullish with a Seattle-New England Super Bowl and confident that another viewing record will be set. Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox had an average viewership of 112.5 million and with last year’s champion, plus the well-known Pats in the Big Game, NBC could see numbers well above that, especially if the game stays close.

[NFL Communications]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.