Wild Card Ratings Boom for CBS, Flat for Fox, and Slight Decline for NBC

The ratings from this weekend’s NFL Wild Card match-ups are in…and the big winner appears to be CBS, which had the thrilling AFC overtime tilt between the Steelers and Broncos.

CBS reports that the overnight rating for the Broncos’ 29-23 overtime win was 25.9, making it the highest-rated Wild Card game in 24 years and 38% over last year’s game between the Ravens and Chiefs.  The last time the networks saw this high a rating for a Wild Card game was in 1988 when the Seahawks and Oilers registered a 26.7 on NBC.

Fox’ Sunday match-up between the Falcons and Giants garnered a 17.3 overnight rating, up 1% from the 2011 Sunday 1:00p.m. ET match-up on CBS.  The game was the highest rated Wild Card Sunday 1:00p.m. ET game since 2004.

NBC had a solid rating for its pair of games on Saturday, although the numbers were below 2011.  The prime time match-up between the Lions and Saints earned NBC a 19.3 rating, down from last year’s 20.8/33 for the Jets and Colts, the highest-rated Saturday Wild Card primetime overnight ever.  The late afternoon match-up between the Bengals and Texans earned NBC a 15.3 overnight rating. That is down from last year’s Saints/Seahawks game which registered a 18.3.

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