One major storyline around the NFL this season has been how viewership appears to be down almost across the board. This may have been true for the regular season, but the playoffs are trending in a different direction. The numbers are in from this past weekend’s divisional playoff games–and they are massive.
The Sunday, January 15 afternoon broadcast on Fox of the Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys game was the biggest, picking up an average audience of 48.5 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.That makes it the most-watched US NFL broadcast since the Super Bowl in February 2016. The figure peaked at 62.4 million viewers when the Cowboys tied the game at the end, around 7:45 PM ET.
It was an amazing game that came down to the last play, with the Packers sealing the victory with a 51-year field goal kick by Mason Crosby.
The second game on Sunday, the AFC matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs on NBC, also drew huge numbers. It averaged 37.1 million viewers, peaking at 39.1 million. It ended up being the most-watched primetime NFL Wild Card or Divisional Playoff matchup. This was also a close game, with the Steelers getting the win 18-16 from six field goals and no touchdowns.
The AFC and NFC Championship games between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons are coming up this Sunday, January 22.
The winners will advance to Super Bowl LI, which takes place on February 5.