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NFL, New-Age Sci-Fi Launch Boosting CBS And Fox

NFL, New-Age Sci-Fi Launch Boosting CBS And Fox

The networks hoped the combination of championship football and the remnants of a massive blizzard would help boost ratings this weekend. They were not disappointed, as those expectations were met.

The seventeenth (and perhaps) final match-up between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning gave CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) the best ratings for a AFC championship game in 29 years, and second best ratings overall. Over 53 million people tuned in Sunday for the epic match-up, which was came close to tackling the Jets/Steelers tilt from January 2011, which lured nearly 55 million viewers.

On the NFC side, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA) coverage of the blowout between Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers and Carson Palmer's Arizona Cardinals produced 45.7 million viewers, likely aided by the primetime time slot. On average the games had almost 50 million viewers, which is a 8 percent year-to-year bump.

Related Link: Snapchat Might Be Changing The Way We View Super Bowl Commercials

Super Bowl 50

In two weeks, the Broncos and Panthers will meet up at Super Bowl 50 and look to break the record for the most-watched program of all time, which fittingly was last year's capper.

It's been commonplace for the annual football finale to out-do the year prior, laying claim to the official record. As it stands the New England Patriots' win over the Seattle Seahawks was watched by 114.4 million viewers, but with the possibility of Manning going out on top, expect an emotional boost reflected in the final numbers.

Piggybacking On Fans' TV Watching Habits

Fox, meanwhile, used the NFC Championship game to help re-launch its famed "The X-Files" series, which returned to a viewership of 13.5 million people and a strong 5.1 rating in the 18–49 demo. The series original debuted in 1993 with 12 million viewers and wrapped in 2002 with 13.3 million.

 By comparison, CBS aired a special episode of "Scorpion" in the post-AFC title slot last year, which netted 12.3 million viewers and 3.2 demo rating.

CBS will air Super Bowl 50 on Sunday February 7 with special episodes of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and "The Late Late Show With James Corden" following the big event.

Image Credit: By Jeffrey Beall - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Posted-In: AFC NFC nfl Peyton ManningTop Stories Tech Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga


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