7:51am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: NFL Playoff Nabs 48.5 Million Viewers, Best Telecast Since Super Bowl
This robust postseason NFL bears no resemblance to the dampened league seen at the top of the season. Sunday's playoff games were huge, for Fox and NBC, with Fox's earlier showing on track to be the biggest U.S. telecast since the Super Bowl.
The Green Bay Packers put an end to the Dallas Cowboys' NFC championship ambitions in a stunning 11th hour victory, and audiences stuck around. An average 48.5 million viewers watched the game, far and away the most-watched telecast in over a year and the most-watched NFL playoff tilt of all time.
The game peaked with a massive 62.4 million viewers when the Cowboys briefly tied the game with less than two minutes on the clock — at 7:45 p.m. ET.
Earlier, the game averaged a 28.2 overnight rating among households. That's a stunning 12 percent boost from even Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, which ultimately swung 40 million viewers.
The primetime playoff matchup on NBC was almost as sweet, and also set a record — albeit just for an evening game. With a 21.9 overnight rating among households, the showdown between the AFC's Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs proved to be the best primetime showing on record for a NFL Wild Card or Divisional Playoff Game. Updated scores have it averaging 37.1 million viewers and a peak of 39.1 million viewers.
Both the NFC and AFC showings bode well for the rest of this especially strong postseason.