NFL Playoffs Ratings Score Big For CBS With Broncos Win; NBC’s Democrats Debate Steady In Early Numbers

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The pundits are still battling over whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton won last night’s Democratic Debate (1.9/6) on NBC, but the clear big winner on Sunday was the Denver Broncos and CBS. The team’s 23-16 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC playoffs sees Peyton Manning and crew looking at a Super Bowl berth if they can beat the defending champion New England Patriots on the 25th. For Super Bowl 50 broadcaster CBS, Sunday’s late-afternoon game translated into a 26.2/44 result in meter markets – the highest rated NFL game of the season so far on any network.

Sunday’s 4:45-8 PM ET game was up 3% from last year’s AFC Divisional Playoff matchup between the winning Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts and tied 2011’s Patriots vs. N.Y. Jets. Sunday’s Broncos win matched for the highest rated Sunday AFC Divisional playoff since 1995 in MM results. And, with a 12.0/35 rating among adults 18-49 and 40.61 million viewers in early non-adjusted numbers, that game jumped into primetime and pumped up all of CBS’s night.

Featuring Sean Penn lamenting his El Chapo interview, an 8 PM 60 Minutes (4.7/13) hit a season high as did Madam Secretary (2.0/6) and The Good Wife (1.3/4). Of course, all those rising results could see adjustments when later numbers come in. Right now, 60 Minutes has 20.27 million viewers – the best the news mags has done since November 16, 2008. Also, as it is right now, CBS easily won the night with a 5.0/15 rating and 20.08 million viewers.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Charleston, South CarolinaComing less that 2-weeks before the Iowa caucuses, that other big match up of the night was the Democratic debate over on NBC. Early numbers have the 9 – 11 PM ET Clinton vs. Sanders vs. O’Malley shindig pulling in around 8.72 million viewers and an 1.9/6 rating. Gifted with a Sunday primetime slot and pretty good for anything on the Big 4 that isn’t the likes of the NFL, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods or Empire, the viewership number is up by 9% from what the last Democratic Debate got on Saturday December 19 on ABC. Of course, again in early numbers, last night’s 4th Dems gathering was down from the last GOP Debate of January 14 on Fox Business Network, which had 11.094 million viewers – the worst Donald Trump and the Republicans have done this primary season so far. NBC ran Dateline (1.0/3) last night before the debate. In metered market results, Sunday’s Democrats’ showdown had a 7.2, up 20% from the trio’s last meet-up just before Christmas.

On ABC, America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.8/3) and Galavant (0.6/2) were even with last week when they faced the Golden Globes on NBC. With no NFL game of its own leading into primetime, FOX saw originals of Bob’s Burgers (1.0/3), The Simpsons (1.8/5), newbie Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life (1.2/3), Family Guy (1.6/5) and that other newbie Bordertown (1.2/3) all expectedly down.

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