TV Ratings: Fox's 49ers Wild Card Game Hits Record High
UPDATED: The postseason heats up with highs for NBC and CBS as well, though Fox's Sunday evening game skyrockets to an unprecedented 47 million viewers.
The NFL postseason got off to an auspicious start over the weekend with a handful of wild-card games -- including the biggest one ever.
Sunday evening's Fox broadcast of the San Francisco 49ers edging out the Green Bay Packers netted a record 47.1 million viewers, making it the most watched NFL wild-card game in more than 25 years. With a 25.8 rating among households, it's also the highest rated.
On CBS, the broadcast of the AFC playoff featuring the San Diego Chargers' victory over the Cincinnati Bengals hit a 19-year high for an early Sunday wild-card game in the conference, with an average 30.9 million viewers (viewership peaked at 36.2 million viewers). The last time a comparable game brought in such a big audience was in 1995, when the Cleveland Browns played the New England Patriots in front of 31.6 million viewers.
With an average 18.9 household rating in fast national returns, it also marked the highest-rated AFC wild-card game since 1995.
Saturday evening saw the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles face off in NBC primetime to 34.4 million viewers -- up 14 percent from the comparable game last year. Earlier in the day, the Indianapolis Colts' comeback over the Kansas City Chiefs averaged 27.6 million viewers.
The two games averaged 30.8 million viewers, also a record for a wild-card Saturday.