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The Broncos' 20-18 AFC championship victory over the Patriots
on CBS on Sunday was the highest-rated AFC title game in 29 years.
The game, the first of the two conference title games aired Sunday, pulled in a whopping overnight rating/share of 31.8/53 (31.8 percent of households tuned in and 53 percent of households with TVs in use watched the game), beating out the NFC championship game between the Panthers and Cardinals on Fox by 19 percent (26.8/40).
The rating for Patriots-Broncos was also the highest early window game rating for conference titles games since 1987 and the highest-rated TV program since last year's Super Bowl on NBC, between the Seahawks and Patriots (49.7/72).
Sunday's AFC title game rating peaked at 36.6/57 from 4 to 4:30 p.m., around the Patriots' fourth-quarter touchdown to close the Broncos' lead to two.
Ratings for the AFC title game jumped 31 percent from last year's conference championship between the Colts and Patriots (24.2/39), which aired in the late window, and increased 9 percent from the NFC title game between the Packers and Seahawks on Fox (29.1/52).