The Broncos Wild Card win over Pittsburgh on Sunday drew the largest television crowd of any opening-round NFL playoff game since 1988 (26.7; Seattle-Houston; 1/3/88. The broadcast posted a 25.9 overnight Nielsen rating and a 43 share nationally according to CBS and Nielsen Research.
Those numbers equate to nearly 42 million viewers watching the Broncos earn the 29-23 overtime victory.
The rating reflects the percentage of all televisions in a market that are tuned into a particular program, while the share is the percentage of televisions in use that are turned in to the program.
The game peaked with a national rating/share of 31.6/46 between 6:00-6:15 PM MST. Demaryius Thomas caught the 80-yard game-winning catch in overtime at 6:07 p.m MST.
In Denver, those numbers were considerably higher. The local overnight rating for Sunday’s victory came in at 49.0 and the share was 78.
People took to social media to talk about the exciting finish in record numbers as well. Twitter reported that it set a new sports tweets per second record with 9,420 tweets per second about the game.