NFL Has Top 12 Highest Rated Programs, Steelers at Broncos No. 5

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08: Demaryius Thomas #88 of the Denver Broncos makes a pass reception and fights off Ike Taylor #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers to go 80 yards for the game winning touchdown on the first play of overtime at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in their AFC Wild Card Playoff game. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

the 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild card round of the 2011 playoffs is probably going to be a sore subject to Steelers fans for some time.

Part of the reason might be the fact so many American households watched the game. Sports Media Watch posted the TV Ratings over the first half of 2012, and Denver's thrilling win over favored Pittsburgh was the fifth-most watched broadcast on TV, drawing in a 24.0 rating and seen by an estimated 42,371,000 people.

That's not rare for the NFL. The dominant sport in the United States captured the top 12 spots and 13 of the top 15.

The only two non-NFL programs in the top 15 were the BCS National Championship game (13) and the NCAA Men's National Championship basketball game (15).

CBS' regional broadcast of the NFL in Week 17 drew a higher rating than the BCS Championship game did, thus proving the NFL's viewership dominance over the collegiate version.

The Super Bowl drew in over 111 million viewers, nearly a 2-to-1 margin over the second-highest rated broadcast, the NFC Championship game (57 million) between San Francisco and the New York Giants.

The AFC Championship game between Baltimore and New England was third at 48 million.

The Giants were involved in three of the top five broadcasts, the third being the NFC Divisional round win over the Green Bay Packers (4th overall at 45 million viewers).

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