Last night's NFC Championship game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints gave FOX an estimated viewing audience of 52 Million people, and a huge audience share in the 18-49 demographic.
From TV by the Numbers:
"The football gods smiled on Fox Sunday, as an exciting NFC Championship Game went into overtime and produced a preliminary 19.0 adults 18-49 rating / 43 share and a 52 million viewer average from 7-10:30pm. The game actually ran from 6:46-10:27pm, and we expect more accurate time-zone adjusted numbers later today.
For historical reference, Favre’s last NFC Championship with the Packers averaged 53.9 million viewers (the most since 1995). The most viewers ever for an NFC Championship was the January 1982 San Francisco/Dallas matchup (which featured “The Catch”) which averaged 68.7 million. Last year, the NFC Championship (Arizona/Philadelphia) was the early game and averaged 38.4 million viewers, the AFC Championship (Steelers/Ravens) was the late game that went into primetime and averaged 40.6 million."
Even though there was a lot of the expected Joe Buck bashing on Twitter during the game, people still tuned in and watched. And when you are talking about numbers this big, who really cares that the total audience was a 4% dropoff from the last NFC Championship featuring Brett Favre.
Thanks to Ken Fang of Fang's Bites for tweeting the link to this story.