According to Lewis Lazare in the Sun-Times, Sunday's game drew a 50.6 rating and 81 share -- the rating being the percentage of all Chicago-area TVs, the share being the percentage of TVs in use. That translates to 1,771,000 households, and more than the 50.2 rating for the Bears/Colts Super Bowl in February 2007.â†µ
Nationally, the game drew a 28.1 rating and 51 share, translating to 59.5 million viewers across the country. Among NFC title games shown in the "early" time slot on conference championship Sunday, it was the highest rated game in 14 years.â†µ
Lazare says that other local stations barely rated a blip on Sunday afternoon:â†µ
On Sunday, the city’s other major TV outlets were left with barely any audience for their counter-programming. Top-rated ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 managed just a 0.5 rating (17,500 households) while the Bears game was in progress. Both CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and NBC-owned WMAQ could do no better than a 0.4 rating each (14,000 households each).â†µ
Fox TV probably would have been happier had the Bears and Jets won Sunday's game, producing a game between the No. 1 and No. 3 TV markets. But Super Bowls seem to have a life of their own on TV, with many people throwing parties around viewing the game and having more interest in the commercials than the action on the field. With the Bears eliminated, that'll likely be the case for most Chicago-area parties on Feb. 6.