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Football games send viewers to TV on cold weekends

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – NFL wild card games and the NCAA football championship gathered millions of people in front of their television sets over a cold winter weekend.

An average of 30.5 million people watched the NFL’s wild card game on television and digitally over the weekend, which the league said was up 21% compared to the same game in 2021.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s win over Alabama for the NCAA Football Championship last week reached 22.3 million viewers, the Nielsen company said. This allowed the NCAA to rebound from the weak ratings of the New Year’s Eve semifinals, which featured two non-competitive games.

Buoyed by its wild card game, CBS averaged 10 million viewers and NBC had 6.8 million in prime time last week. ABC had an average of 2.7 million, Fox had 1.7 million, Univision had 1.6 million, Ion Television had 1 million and Telemundo had 900,000.

ESPN had an average of 3.69 million viewers in prime time, Fox News Channel had 2.24 million, MSNBC had 1.2 million, HGTV had 1.08 million and Hallmark had 978,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news race, averaging 9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8.1 million and “CBS Evening News” had 5.8 million.

For the week of January 10-16, the 20 most popular shows in prime time, their viewership and networks:

1. NFL Wild Card: Pittsburgh, NBC in Kansas City, 28.94 million.

2. NFL Wild Card: New England at Buffalo, CBS, 26.37.

3. “Wild Card Post Game” (Sunday), CBS, 25.5 million.

4. NCAA Football Championship: Georgia v Alabama, ESPN, 22.26 million.

5. “Wild Card Pre Game” (Sunday), NBC, 19.64 million.

6. “NCAA Championship Post Game,” ESPN, 18.37 million.

7. “NCAA Championship Pre Game,” ESPN, 13.78 million.

8. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 11.29 million.

9. “FBI,” CBS, 8.45 million.

10. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.7 million.

11. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.41 million.

12. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 7.33 million.

13. “Ghosts,” CBS, 6.48 million.

14. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 6.44 million.

15. “FBI: International,” CBS, 6.29 million.

16. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 5.81 million.

17. “Magnum, PI, CBS, 5.77 million.

18. “FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 5.56 million.

19. “United States of Al,” CBS, 5.48 million.

20. “911: Lone Star,” Fox, 5.03 million.

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