AFC Title Game Breaks Record; NFC Is Most-Viewed in 29 Years

By Noah Davis 

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Almost 55 million people saw the New York Jets lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s AFC Championship game. CBS’s broadcast posted a 28.3 fast-national rating and had 54.850 million viewers.

Although it was the most-viewed AFC title game ever, it was only the highest-rated one since the 1996-1997 season when the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars earned a 28.5 on NBC. Additionally, the game was actually down eight percent in ratings and five percent in viewership from last year’s game in the same timeslot, Fox’s Minnesota Vikings-New Orleans Saints NFC title match.

How did that game do this year?More than 53 million people saw the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears, making the game the most-watched NFC championship since the 1981-1982 season. (60.2 million people saw the San Francisco Giants defeat the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park, courtesy of The Catch.)

Interestingly, peak viewership for the NFC’s game was actually higher than peak viewership for the AFC tilt.