Giants-49ers NFC title game draws huge audience

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Giants' overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers was the third-most watched conference championship game in 30 years.

New York's 20-17 win for the NFC title Sunday on Fox had a 30.6 fast national rating and 44 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday.

The rating was up 9 percent from the 28.1/50 for Green Bay's 21-14 win over Chicago in the early conference championship last year on Fox and an increase of 8 percent from the 28.3/43 for Pittsburgh's 24-19 victory over the New York Jets in the last game on CBS.

The game drew 57.6 million viewers, according to Fox, trailing only San Francisco's win over Dallas on Jan. 10, 1982, which featured Dwight Clark's famous leaping touchdown catch (68.7 million), and New Orleans' overtime victory over Minnesota on Jan. 24, 2010 (57.9 million).

Viewers peaked from 10-10:30 p.m. EST with a 36.9/52 and 69 million viewers.

New England's 23-20 win over Baltimore in the AFC title game drew a 27.4/48 fast national, the highest rating for an early AFC championship since the San Diego's 17-13 win over Pittsburgh drew a 28.3/58 on NBC in January 1995. The Patriots' win drew 48.7 million viewers.

The NFC playoffs averaged a 23.9/43 and 42.6 million viewers, the network's most watched playoffs and up 11 percent from last year.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a program, and the share is the percentage among those households with televisions on at the time.

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