Overtime contests retain viewers

Sunday’s NFL championship games drew their highest ratings in years with both close contests going into overtime before deciding which teams would be going to the Super Bowl.

This season's ratings have rebounded for the NFL, whose status as a TV powerhouse was being questioned after a couple of years of sagging ratings amid a rash of injuries and retirements of key players, blowout games and controversy over players protesting during the National Anthem.

On CBS, the AFC championship game drew a 31.2 rating and 48 share, up 26% from the comparable game a year ago. That makes it the highest-rated program on TV since last year’s Super Bowl.

Related: CBS Gears Up for Super Bowl

The Patriots overtime win over the Chiefs was the highest rated late window conference in seven years. Ratings peaked at a 36.1/54 from 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

Kansas City and Boston were the highest rated local markets for the game.

The earlier game, the NFC Conference championship game on Fox drew a 27.1 ratings and 49 share in metered markets, up 10% from last year’s NFC game, which aired in the late window.

Related: Maroon 5 Gets Super Bowl Gig

The highest rated market was New Orleans, whose Saints lost to the Rams after a bad call by the officials helped allow the Rams to tie the game and win in overtime.

The Super Bowl, pitting the Patriots against the Rams, will air on CBS on Feb 3.

Related