AFC Championship Game Ratings Stumble For CBS, ‘Revenge’ Rises

After a blowout win yesterday against the Indianapolis Colts, the New England Patriots are going to Super Bowl XLIX. As convincing and solid as the 45-7 victory was for Tom Brady and crew, the crushing of the Colts was not a touchdown for CBS. With a 24.2/37 in metered market results, last night’s primetime AFC game was down 21% from the 2014 NFC Championship Game. That much-closer 23-17 Seattle Seahawks’ win over the San Francisco 49ers ran in primetime on Fox.

The Patriots-Colts peaked in MM results around 8-8:30 PM with a 27. /41. That was around halftime, when viewers could see pretty much how the game was going to end. The point spread was actually the second-highest since the 1970/71 game– the first year after the NFL and AFL merger took hold. The top markets for last night’s AFC game were Boston (51.1/73); unsurprisingly, Indianapolis (47.0/65); Providence (45.6/62); Las Vegas (30.6/47); and Buffalo (30.0/40).

Among adults 18-49, last night’s AFC Championship pulled a 12.3 in non-time-zone-adjusted fast nationals. That’s a 35% drop from last year’s NFC Championship game, which had the primetime window. Total viewership for last night’s game is currently estimated to be around 37.32 million, though that will likely change as will the demo result in the final numbers. The 2014 NFC Championship game drew 55.91 million total viewers.

The Patriots’ victory came just hours after a nailbiting NFC Championship Game battle in Seattle that eventually saw current Super Bowl champs the Seahawks come back to beat the Green Bay Packers. That game was shown on Fox on Sunday afternoon, and sets up the Patriots and Seahawks to face off for the Super Bowl on February 1 in Glendale, AZ.

Last night’s game on CBS was followed by a specially programmed episode of Scorpion (3.0/9) at 10:30 PM. The highly valued post-AFC Championship Game slot was a touchdown for the recently renewed freshman series. Scorpion was up a strong 25% from its last original on January 5. It will be back in its regular 9 PM slot tonight. (Update, 12:28 PM: The adjusted numbers are in for the special Scorpion and they were raised to a 3.2 among the key demo. That’s a 6% bop up from the preliminary numbers. Viewershipwise, the episode also got a total audience of 12.29 million, up 14% from its earlier result. In the 18-49 demo, that matches the freshman CBS show’s September 22 debut for its best result. The total viewership was the third best the show has done overall. The January 5 episode of Scorpion had 12.32 million viewers while the September 29 airing had 13.36 million watching.)

For the most part, Fox and NBC sat out Sunday night with encores and an airing of the 2011 movie Bridesmaids. Fox did have a new Mulaney (1.5/4) at 7 PM; coming after the NFC Championship Game and some overtime coverage, the often tractionless freshman comedy was up 275% from its last show. That result will certainly see adjustment later.

Deciding to brave the power of the NFL, ABC had a full slate on Sunday in primetime. America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.9/3) kicked things off. The veteran video series was down 18% from last week. Following AFHV, it was the third week of Galavant (0.9/2), which fell a hard 31% from its airing last week. Resurrection (0.7/2) and Revenge (0.9/2) ended ABC’s night with a 13% decline and a 14% rise, respectively. Revenge’s uptick must have been a welcome relief for ABC after last week’s series low.

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