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NFL Conference Championship Games Down 14%

The combination of an overtime affair and a blowout left the NFL’s conference championship games on Sunday looking up at Nielsens with their 2014 counterparts.

Defending champion Seattle’s come-from-behind win over Green Bay in overtime averaged 49.8 million watchers for Fox in the 3 p.m. window on Jan. 18, according to Nielsen data. That was down 11% from the 55.9 million who saw the Seahawks defeat the San Francisco in the 2014 NFC Championship game in the evening/primetime window.

Seahawks-Packers also came up short of the 51.3 million who witnessed Denver’s 26-16 win over New England in last year’s AFC championship contest on CBS.

Fox’s presentation, the top show on television since its coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII, the most-watched telecast in U.S. history, peaked with 60.5 million viewers went into overtime as Jermaine Kearse hauled in the game-winning TD from Russell Wilson.

In the second game on Sunday, New England had no love for overmatched Indianapolis, and the Patriots’ 45-7 drubbing of the Colts averaged 42.1 million watchers, down 18% from the 2014 AFC championship game and 24.7% from the NFC title tilt in the same window last year.  

The Jan. 19 telecasts averaged 46.1 million watchers, off 14% from the 53.6 million that tuned in last January.

Seattle-New England will square off in Super Bowl XLIX from Glendale, Ariz, on Feb. 1, with NBC and Spanish-language sister service, the converted NBC Universo, carrying the action.