The AFC Championship Game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots drew a 29.1 overnight rating, sources told John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. That would represent a somewhat significant decline from last year's AFC Championship Game between the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, which drew a 31.4.
Source: CBS AFC Champ Game (BAL-NE) pulled a 29.1 overnight, down from last year's Jets-Steelers overnight (31.4).— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 23, 2012
Each ratings points represents about 1,159,000 households. That means nearly 34 million households tuned into the game, which is obviously nothing to scoff at.
Still, the decline in ratings is a bit odd being as fans were treated to another close game, just as they were last year. On top of that, there should have been a fair amount of pre-game interest in the game, as the Patriots featured one of the league's top offense and the Ravens had one of the top defenses. On paper, this seemed to be a game that people should have flocked to.
One possible explanation could be that fans have just grown tired of seeing the Patriots and Ravens. At least one of those two teams has appeared in eight of the past 12 AFC Championship games. In the NFC, where the San Francisco 49ers were making their first conference title game appearance since 1998, the game drew a 33.4 overnight.