AFC Championship Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (R) celebrate on the stage prior to the trophy presentation after their’ game against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL on CBS delivered yet another ridiculous audience in this year’s NFL Playoffs, with the AFC Championship hitting a record high.

Per a Tuesday release, the Chiefs’ win over the Ravens averaged 55.473 million viewers on CBS Sunday, the most-watched AFC Championship ever. The previous record came for Jets-Steelers in 2011, which averaged 54.850 million. That game aired in the later timeslot, as opposed to this year’s game in the earlier window.

Nielsen only began tracking out-of-home viewership in 2020, adding to the strength of this year’s game.

Viewership for the AFC Championship peaked at a stunning 64.022 million, over five million viewers more than the peak for Fox’s NFC Championship coverage. That game averaged 56.691 million viewers, the most-watched NFC Championship since 2012.

After a record-setting NFL on CBS regular season, the good vibes are continuing into the Super Bowl. The three NFL Playoff games on CBS are averaging 45.607 million viewers, the highest mark before the Super Bowl since the NFL returned to CBS in 1998 (and nearly a million more viewers than Fox’s Playoff average this year, which was a record for the network).

In addition to the record viewership for the AFC Championship, the network’s broadcast of the Chiefs-Bills Divisional game averaged 50.393 million viewers, a record for a Divisional round game on any network. Despite the game being bumped to Monday afternoon, CBS averaged 31.052 million viewers for its Steelers-Bills Wild Card game, a slight increase from the network’s Sunday afternoon Wild Card broadcast last season.

CBS will broadcast Super Bowl LVIII on February 11 between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. The game is a rematch from Super Bowl LIV, which averaged just shy of 100 million viewers on Fox. That game did not have the benefit of out-of-home viewership being counted, and that will be a huge benefit for CBS when viewership information for the game begins trickling out in two weeks.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.