Jan 24, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after beating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field . Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got just the Pro Bowl (er, whatever the Pro Bowl “celebration” will look like this year) and Super Bowl left in this NFL season, and the league picked up a pair of strong audiences on Conference Championship weekend to keep the momentum going.

Bucs-Packers was the early game on Fox, and it drew 44.773 million viewers on the network. That’s an increase of 9% from last year’s early game. Titans-Chiefs drew 41.10 million viewers on CBS.

The late game was Bills-Chiefs on CBS, which drew 41.847 million viewers. That viewership is down 2% from the late game last season, Packers-49ers on Fox, which drew 42.79 million viewers.

Looking at it another way, both networks were up from last year, though only one of the two games (Fox’s NFC Championship) was up when compared to the same start window.

Overall, this marks Fox’s best viewership for an NFC title game since 2017 (Packers-Falcons drew 46.3 million).

Where does the league stand heading into the Super Bowl? No matter what, the game will end up being the most-watched TV program of the year, as it always is. The big question is whether or not it will top 100 million viewers, as ten of the last 11 have (the outlier: Patriots-Rams two years ago, which aired on CBS and drew 98.732 million viewers). A year ago, Chiefs-49ers drew 100.466 million viewers on Fox.

Will it get there? I think the overarching Brady-Mahomes storyline, despite the smaller markets, will be over to push it over the edge.

[Data via ShowBuzz Daily, Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

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