Fans in Baltimore weren’t the only ones excited with the outcome of the Ravens’ thrilling double overtime victory over the Broncos – CBS executives were jumping up and down as well.
An average of 35.3 million viewers tuned in to watch Ray Lewis extend his retirement tour by another week as he clashed with another NFL legend in Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos. The average was up 3% from last season’s 34.2 million viewers that tuned in to see ratings machines Tim Tebow and Tom Brady face off in what became a 45-10 route at the hands of the Patriots.
After kicking off at 4:30EST, the highest rated period came almost four hours later between the times of 8:00 and 8:30, with 40.8 million viewers. That was when Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker converted on a 47-yard field goal 1:36 into the second overtime period.
Here’s some perspective on how well ratings for this game were over previous matchups: for a Saturday AFC Divisional Playoff game, the 35.3 million average viewers was the highest in the 26-year period since CBS started keeping records.
According to an ESPN poll, every state in the United States except Maryland picked the Broncos to beat the Ravens. The large CBS ratings will make Ravens fans smile, knowing that most of those who tuned in nationally were wrong about picking against the Ravens.
The biggest losers with CBS’s ratings victory are football fans themselves, as CBS now has better numbers to share with their sponsors which will no doubt cause them to cram even more advertisements down your throat. Or, even worse, give Dan Dierdorf a raise.