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Record ratings for Broncos-Steelers

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  January 10, 2012 03:12 PM

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So says NFL public relations guru Greg Aiello, who tweeted this a few moments ago about the Broncos' 29-23 overtime victory over the Steelers:

It was most-watched game of season, most-watched Wild Card game ever w/42.4 million viewers, & most-watched TV program since Super Bowl XLV.

The overnight ratings, a measure of just the major metered markets, were available yesterday, so this is not a huge surprise. The game earned a 25.9 overnight Nielsen rating, making it the most-watched NFL wild-card game since a Seahawks-Oilers matchup earned a 26.7 overnight on January 3, 1988.

It will be fascinating to learn how huge the numbers are for Saturday's Patriots-Broncos divisional round matchup. The matchup between the two teams -- or should we say Tom Brady and Tim Tebow? -- four weeks ago drew enormous numbers in the 4:15 p.m. time slot on CBS.

The network received a 19.5 overnight rating for the Patriots’ 41-23 victory nationally, its largest highest regular-season overnight since the Patriots’ 24-20 win over the Colts Nov. 4, 2007. In the Boston market, the Patriots earned a 42 overnight rating and a 68 share.

The highest-rated divisional game in Patriots history was a January 14, 2007 game with the Chargers, which got a 44.9 household rating. The biggest share happened on January 5, 1997 a Patriots-Steelers game earned a 70.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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