Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games were nail-biters that went into overtime and sent viewership into overdrive.
CBS harvested a whopping 53.9 million viewers as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led his team to their third consecutive Super Bowl berth in a hard-fought primetime game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Viewership for the AFC clincher was up 27% from the comparable game window last year, when Fox had the late game berth for the NFC’s Vikings-Eagles bout.
The crowd that turned out to watch the Patriots land a 37-31 victory peaked at 63.8 million viewers in the game’s final half-hour. CBS said it was the second most-watched AFC championship in 42 years, trailing only 2011’s New York Jets-Pittsburgh Steelers face-off, which brought in 54.9 million viewers.
Fox’s Sunday afternoon NFC championship game, which sealed the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl spot with a 26-23 win over the New Orleans Saints, commanded 45 million viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes and the Fox Sports streaming app.
The game ranks as Fox’s most-watched telecast since it last aired the Super Bowl in February 2017. The Rams-Saints battle peaked at 54 million viewers.
(Pictured: New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs)