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Arizona Cardinals' dramatic win over Green Bay Packers sets ratings record

By The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 18, 2016 at 12:58 AM
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The Arizona Cardinals' dramatic 26-20 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers in Saturday night's playoff game is the highest-rated divisional-round game ever.

According to Fast National data from the Nielsen Company, the NFC divisional game on NBC posted an 18.8/33 household rating.

The NFL introduced primetime Saturday divisional playoff games in the 2001 season.

In addition, NBC's Packers-Cardinals telecast (8:16-11:41 p.m. ET) averaged 33.7 million viewers to rank as the second-most watched Saturday primetime divisional game ever (34.2 million viewers for Denver Broncos-New England Patriots game on CBS on Jan. 14, 2012).

The household rating and viewership for the Packers-Cardinals game both are up 9 percent over last year's primetime Saturday NFC divisional playoff (17.2/29 and 31.0 million viewers for Carolina Panthers-Seattle Seahawks on FOX).

Viewership peaked at 38.7 million (21.8/40 rating) for the game's dramatic conclusion from 11:15-11:41p.m. ET, featuring Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers' Hail Mary to tie the score on the final play of regulation and the 75-yard catch-and-run by Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on the first play from scrimmage in overtime to set up his game-winning, 5-yard TD on a shovel pass two plays later.

For its two January 2016 playoff games, NBC averaged 34.5 million viewers, a 19.8/37 household rating, and a 10.6 rating in the adult 18-49 demographic -- records for the network in all three metrics since acquiring the Sunday Night Football package in 2006.

NBC's wild-card telecast on Jan. 10 -- Seattle's down-to-the-wire 10-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings -- averaged 35.4 million viewers to rank as the most-watched early Sunday wild-card game on record.

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