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Fox’s coverage of the NFC championship game was the most-watched prime-time television program since the Super Bowl LI postgame show, but viewership was down 7.5 percent from the last time Fox carried a prime-time NFL conference championship game, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

The Philadelphia Eagles 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday averaged 42.298 million viewers. The last time Fox aired the NFC championship game in prime time was on Jan. 24, 2016, when the Carolina Panthers 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals averaged 45.74 million viewers.

The NFC and AFC championship games annually alternate in prime time. CBS’ prime-time coverage of the New England Patriots 36-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game on Jan. 22, 2017, averaged 47.951 million viewers.

The viewership for CBS’ coverage of New England’s 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Sunday’s AFC championship game, which aired before the start of prime time, was not immediately available.

The premiere of the medical drama “The Resident” that followed 25 minutes of NFC championship game postgame coverage averaged 8.654 million viewers, 14th among prime-time programs airing on broadcast and cable networks between Jan. 15 and Sunday and 11th among entertainment programs.

“The Resident” was the week’s fifth most-watched prime-time program among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 3.37 million viewers among the group targeted by Fox, NBC and ABC and coveted by advertisers.

The CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” was the only entertainment program to average more viewers among the group, 3.763 million.

The NFC championship game made Fox the most-watched network for the first time since the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 5 when it aired the final two games of the World Series, averaging 10.6 million viewers for its 16 hours of prime- time programming.

CBS was second, averaging 6.92 million viewers, followed by ABC, which averaged 4.74 million, and NBC, which averaged 4.69 million.

CBS, ABC and NBC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes.

Outside of its Sunday programming, Fox’s most-watched program was the procedural drama “9-1-1,” 30th for the week, averaging 6.212 million viewers.

CBS had the top three most-watched entertainment programs and seven of the top nine, topped by “The Big Bang Theory,” which averaged 14.924 million viewers, fourth overall, behind the NFC championship game and its two postgame shows.

NBC’s most-watched program was the drama “This Is Us,” seventh for the week and fourth among entertainment programs, averaging 9.823 million viewers.

The first-year medical drama “The Good Doctor” was ABC’s most- watched program, ninth for the week and sixth among entertainment programs, averaging 9.35 million viewers, its largest audience since Nov. 20.

The week’s most-watched cable program was TNT’s coverage of the Golden State Warriors 118-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Jan. 15 in a rematch of the past three NBA Finals, averaging 4.7 million viewers, 47th overall.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network, averaging 2.65 million viewers. MSNBC was second, averaging 1.947 million and USA Network third, averaging 1.495 million.

ESPN was ninth, averaging 1.07 million viewers after five consecutive weekly victories.

The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the season finale of the Univision telenvoela “Enamorandome de Ramon,” which averaged 2.265 million viewers, 88th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 11th consecutive week, averaging 1.47 million viewers. Telemundo averaged 1.18 million viewers to finish second for the 11th consecutive week after four consecutive first-place finishes.

UniMas was third, averaging 760,000 viewers, followed by Estrella TV, which averaged 270,000 and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” averaged 10.381 million viewers, its most-watched week since the week of Jan. 17-21, 2005 when George W. Bush was inaugurated for a second term as president and the late Peter Jennings was the anchor.

The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 9.801 million viewers.

The “CBS Evening News” averaged 7.432 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s coverage of the NFC championship game and its eight- and 17-minute postgame shows; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” and “NCIS”; NBC’s “This Is Us”; CBS’ “Blue Bloods”; ABC’s “The Good Doctor”; and CBS’ “Mom.”

—City News Service

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