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Chiefs’ win over Ravens sets NFL record as most-watched AFC championship game ever

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If you were watching the AFC championship game on CBS over the weekend, then give yourself a pat on the back, because you were part of television history. 

The game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens had an average audience of 55.473 million, making it the most-watched AFC title game in NFL history. The viewing number peaked with an astronomical 64.022 million people watching at one point in the second half. 

The Chiefs’ 17-10 win over the Ravens broke a viewership record that had stood for 12 years. The previous mark was set in January 2011 when an average of 54.850 million tuned in to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New York Jets, 24-19. 

The game between the Chiefs and Ravens was also the most-watched non-Super Bowl program on CBS since the 1994 Winter Olympics. 

The matchup in Baltimore had all the makings of a TV hit: 

  • It was a high-profile showdown. The game featured two star quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson
  • It was close until the end. The game was close for all four quarters, which kept viewers glued to their seat. The Chiefs were leading by just one score with 2:30 left to play and it all came down to the high-powered Kansas City offense needing to get a first down against the vaunted Ravens’ defense to seal the game. 
  • There were stars off the field. Taylor Swift hasn’t missed a playoff game yet and she was once again there on Sunday to support Travis Kelce

The NFL dominated the entire day on Sunday. Not only did the AFC title game put up huge numbers, but so did the NFC title game. 

According to Fox Sports, the 49ers stunning comeback win over the Lions had an average audience of 56.324 million, which made it the most-watched NFC title game since the Giants beat the 49ers, 20-17, back in January 2012.  

The 49ers were trailing by 17 points at halftime against the Lions before storming back for a 34-31 victory. 

The fact that both conference title games topped 50 million viewers is a rarity: It’s something that hasn’t happened since 2014

There is now only one game left in the NFL this season and that’s Super Bowl LVIII, which will be kicking off from Las Vegas at 6:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 11. You’ll be able to watch the game on CBS or Nickelodeon and you’ll also be able to stream it on Paramount+. 

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