Saints-Vikings Game Draws Huge Ratings

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints’ overtime playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings was the most-watched non-Super Bowl TV broadcast since the May 1998 “Seinfeld” finale.

And it had a better ending.


With an average national audience of 57.9 million — 40 percent larger than last year’s NFC Championship Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals — Sunday’s game was also the most-watched NFC Championship game in nearly three decades.

The January 1982 conference title playoff between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers — broadcast by CBS and won by Dwight Clark’s leaping, last-minute reception know as “The Catch” — attracted 68.7 million viewers nationally. The “Seinfeld” finale drew 76.3 million.

In New Orleans, the Saints-Vikings game had a 63.2 average rating, the largest local rating ever for an NFL postseason game, according to a Fox network news release. More…