46.7 million tune in AFC championship

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The decisive AFC championship game that sent the Indianapolis Colts to this year's Super Bowl raked in some 46.7 million viewers on Sunday, strong enough to qualify as TV's most-watched program since last year's Super Bowl post-game programming.

According to CBS, the game that ran from roughly 6:30-10:30 p.m. ET averaged 46.7 million viewers and 17.6 rating in adults 18-49 (share information is not immediately available) and 19.6 rating in adults 25-54, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research.

The 38-34 game that saw the Colts beat the New England Patriots to secure their Feb. 4 Super Bowl berth against the Chicago Bears put a big dent in virtually everything else in primetime on Sunday.

ABC's "Desperate Housewives" (17.1 million, 6.6 rating/13 share in adults 18-49) was off its usual game at 9 p.m. NBC was off the radar with its regular lineup of 8 p.m.'s "Grease: You're the One that I Want" (8.1 million, 2.8/6), 9 p.m.'s "The Apprentice" (6.9 million, 2.8/6) and 10 p.m.'s "Crossing Jordan" (7.6 million, 2.4/6). Fox, which carried the decisive NFC championship game earlier in the day, punted in primetime with repeats of its regular Sunday comedies.
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