Consider the wild-card playoff matchup in the same time slot last year for a rough estimate.
The game seemed to have all the elements to pull in lots of eyeballs. A nationally popular team in Green Bay. A large market in Philadelphia. A lightning-rod quarterback of its own in Michael Vick. A close score.
A wild-card matchup couldn't bring in many more viewers than that in this era, right? Well, Denver's overtime win Sunday averaged 42.4 million viewers, an 8 percent increase. It was the highest-rated wild-card game in 18 years.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus figures some people who don't normally care about football turned on his network Sunday hoping to catch "60 Minutes." Instead, they saw a close NFL playoff game - featuring that Tebow guy everybody is talking about. No way they changed the channel, he said.
"Not many stories travel so quickly from the sports pages to the front pages," McManus said Wednesday.
Tebow reminds him a bit of a pre-scandal Tiger Woods, who inspired non-golf fans to tune in just with his "aura."
Speaking of Tiger, Tebow accomplished a feat in popularity even Woods couldn't match. The monthly ESPN Sports Poll found that the Broncos quarterback was America's favorite active pro athlete for December.
In the poll's 18 years, only 11 different athletes have earned that distinction. Nobody ascended to the top as quickly as Tebow, in his second pro season; Woods needed three years.