Conference title viewership up 22, 17 per cent

The NFL conference title games' television viewership is up big from last season. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

NEW YORK — The NFL conference title games’ television viewership is up big from last season.

The Broncos’ 26-16 win over New England for the AFC championship averaged 51.3 million viewers Sunday on CBS. That’s up 22 per cent from the early game a year ago between San Francisco and Atlanta.

The Seahawks’ 23-17 victory over the 49ers in the NFC averaged 55.9 viewers on Fox, up 17 per cent from Ravens-Patriots in the late window in 2013.

CBS said Monday that Denver’s win had a 28.1 rating and 51 share — the second-highest rating for the AFC game in 17 years, behind a 28.3 for Jets-Steelers in 2011. Seattle’s victory drew a 28.5/44, the highest-rated non-overtime NFC game since 1997.

Ratings measure the percentage of households with televisions watching a program, while shares represent the percentage of TVs in use at the time.

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