Sunday’s Kansas City Chiefs-Buffalo Bills showdown on CBS Sports has set a new record for the most-watched NFL divisional playoff game in history.
An average of 50.4 million viewers tuned into the game, with a high of 56.3 million viewers—the first time a divisional playoff game reached the 50 million mark. The previous record of 48.5 million viewers was set in 2017 in a game between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, one of the league’s biggest TV draws.
About 5 million more viewers watched the matchup compared to last year’s game between the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers in the same time slot. It’s the most-watched offering on any network since last year’s Super Bowl LVII, where the Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
The event was also a victory for Paramount+, which set a new record for its most-streamed live event.
Aside from the typical high stakes of the playoffs and tight game, several storylines and pre-game buzz contributed to the record viewership.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made his first road playoff start, and, for the first time, Taylor Swift was joined in the suite by her boyfriend Travis Kelce’s older brother, Jason, and sister-in-law, Kylie Kelce. (For the second consecutive week, Bills Mafia shoveled snow at Highmark Stadium for $20 an hour.)
The Chiefs defeated the Bills 27-24 and will play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon in the AFC Championship.
CBS could break another record in that game as media darlings Mahomes and Kelce square up against quarterback and MVP favorite Lamar Jackson.