The NFL playoffs are shaping up to be big, with Fox’s afternoon NFC divisional game once again leading the way.
According to Variety, Fox’s Sunday telecast of the Green Bay Packers-Dallas Cowboys brawl, which dashed hopes of a hate-watchers’-dream Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl when the Packers edged the Cowboys out 34-31, drew a massive average audience of 48.5 million, the most-watched divisional round game in history; and above last year’s NFC Championship (45.7) and just a hair below 2015’s (49.8 million).
The game pulled in a 28.2 overnight household rating. For perspective, the record-shattering Game 7 of this year’s World Series, which ended up drawing 40 million viewers, had an overnight household rating of 25.2.
NBC’s nighttime AFC match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs was also a big winner, drawing an average audience of 37.1 million. It had pulled in a 21.9 overnight household rating, a record for primetime playoff games, for the close game that ended with a Steelers win (18-16).