Final Ratings: Chiefs/Bills Divisional Nail-Biter Draws More Than 50 Million Viewers

Taylor Swift, Jerrod Carmichael, Cara Delevingne and a shirtless Jason Kelce were in good company on Sunday.

The updated tallies trickled in on Tuesday morning, and CBS’ Sunday-evening broadcast of the NFL Divisional Playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills averaged 50.4 million total viewers, making it the most-watched NFL Divisional Playoff Game ever.

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(The previous record was 48.5 million viewers for Cowboys/Packers on Jan. 15, 2017.)

The very close contest, which the Chiefs wound up winning by a score of 27-24, also stands as the most-watched program on any network since last year’s Super Bowl, and Paramount+’s most-streamed live event ever (though no data points on that front are available).

The total Chiefs/Bills audience cited above marks a 10% gain in viewership versus the comparable year-ago match-up between the Cowboys and 49ers, which posted 45.659 million viewers. (San Francisco bested Dallas 19-12.)

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Leading out of the Chiefs/Bills game, CBS’ rerun of the Fire Country Season 1 finale (raise your hand if you totally forgot that Bode unknowingly has a baby mama! ✋) retained 7.2 million of those viewers.

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The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increased use of delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms, plus out-of-home viewing. These numbers (Nielsen fast nationals, unless denoted as finals) instead aim to simply illustrate trends or superlatives. Steve Harvey is not a judge or lawyer and merely offers an alternative forum of dispute resolution.

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