CBS announced on Tuesday that the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills AFC showdown was watched by a whopping 50.4 million viewers, making it the most watched NFL Divisional Playoff game ever.
The Chiefs’ 27-24 victory over the Bills came down to the last minutes and ended up scoring the honor of not only the most-watched playoff game, but the first ever to surpass 50 million viewers, a press release from CBS Sports and Paramount+ read.
Sunday night’s playoff game was up by more than 10 percent from last year’s — and beat out the previous record set in 2017 when the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers NFL Divisional playoff game delivered 48.5 million viewers.
CBS announced that Sunday’s Chiefs vs. Bills game was the most-watched Divisional Round game ever, with a whopping 50.393 million viewers. pic.twitter.com/3bsT4ST3xp
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 23, 2024
To put the Chiefs-Bills playoff game numbers into further context, the comparable playoff game that took place in Jan. 2023 — between NFC leaders Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers — garnered 45 million viewers, the press release noted.
At one point, viewership for the game spiked to 56 million viewers and gave Paramount+ its most-streamed live event ever.
The nail-biting game between Kansas City and Buffalo was also the most-watched program on any network since Super Bowl LVII (Feb. 12, 2023), the press release added.
All four of the playoff games over the weekend saw great numbers, with the Packers and 49ers game on Fox coming in second place with 37.5 million viewers and the NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions taking the third spot with 37.2 million viewers, Deadline noted.
The numbers for Sunday’s viewership aren’t completely unwarranted given the fact that there was plenty of excitement as the Bills and Chiefs fans saw the lead in the game change five times in 60 minutes.
Kansas City now advances to the AFC Championship game on Sunday, where they will be on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. The winner will move on to the Super Bowl.
Throughout the regular season, the NFL’s viewership was up over the last few years, with the numbers being the best the league has seen since 2015, Deadline noted.