On the NFL's Championship Sunday, both the AFC and NFC Championship games were down from last year, and both games also hit four year lows.
The overnight rating for the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Falcons on Fox was a 26.1, down 10% from last year's Patriots-Ravens matchup on CBS in the early slot and down 13% from 2011's Packers-Bears game on Fox. That 26.1 is the lowest overnight for the early timeslot since Cardinals-Eagles in 2009. The only other early game this decade to have a lower overnight than either of those two games is 2006's Steelers-Broncos matchup.
Not to be outdone, the AFC Championship game between the Ravens and Patriots in the later timeslot was also down in comparison from last year, drawing a 27.9 overnight, which fell 17% from the Giants-49ers game on Fox from last year. It's also the lowest rating for the late timeslot since (once again) 2009, when the Steelers and Ravens drew a disappointing 23.8 overnight. Perhaps even more disappointing is that despite being in the primetime timeslot, the AFC Championship game overnight decreased by 4%, even with the exact same teams as last season.
The NFL is still having a monstrous ratings season. Both of the games this weekend drew at least 40 million viewers (42.0 million for 49ers-Falcons, 47.7 million for Ravens-Patriots), viewership numbers that only the NFL has touched since the Summer Olympics ended. But the trend of ratings dropping this year on Fox and CBS continued this weekend.
[Numbers via SMW & SBD]