NFL: Bills vs Chiefs Gets 50 Million Viewers, Most Watched Divisional Game Ever

The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs is always one of the biggest draws of the season. While Wild Card Weekend is packed full of games, the following slate of games typically features eight of the better teams from the regular season and is one of the most-watched weekends in all of sports.

NFL Has Massive Weekend Of Viewership

Our win Saturday was @espn‘s most-watched @NFL game EVER 🤯

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 22, 2024

This year was no different. The fun was kicked off on Saturday afternoon when the Houston Texans visited the Baltimore Ravens, which ended up bringing in 31.8 million viewers. That made it the most-watched NFL broadcast ever shown on ESPN, and by far the best all-AFC rating that the company has ever seen.

The five most-watched broadcasts ever on ESPN have come within the last 13 months.

Even more tuned in later that night. 37.5 million people tuned in to watch the thriller between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, which was the largest Saturday television viewing audience on any network in 30 years.

Somehow, Sunday was an even bigger draw. The upstart Detroit Lions have perhaps the best feel-good story of any team remaining in the NFL postseason, and their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers averaged more than 40 million viewers, and peaked at 49.1 million during the game’s final minutes.

CBS announced that Sunday’s Chiefs vs. Bills game was the most-watched Divisional Round game ever, with a whopping 50.393 million viewers.

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 23, 2024

And then was the biggest draw of them all. All eyes from the weekend were on Orchard Park, New York, as the Buffalo Bills were hosting the Kansas City Chiefs for another chapter in the memorable rivalry.

Call it the Taylor Swift effect, or maybe it was just a good old-fashioned matchup of two elite quarterbacks. Or maybe it was a little combination of both, but it brought in the highest viewership rating of any NFL Divisional game ever. According to CBS’s numbers for the event, it was watched by 50.4 million people, beating out the previous record that was set in 2017 in a game between the Cowboys and Packers.

It is just another feather in the cap of the NFL and what they’ve been able to do with viewership in recent years. Of the 100 most-watched broadcasts in all of television in 2023, 94 were NFL games. Three of them were college football games, one was the State of the Union address, another was the Oscars, and the last was the show that was the lead out from the Super Bowl.

What kinds of numbers will the league do this weekend?

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