The AFC Divisional-Round Playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills has broken the early-window viewership record. 38.9 million viewers tuned into the game on average and peaked at nearly 45 million, according to CBS Sports.
Not only did it break CBS records, but it also delivered the most-streamed NFL Divisional Playoff game ever on Paramount+. The game also saw the streaming service record double-digit year-over-growth in households, minutes and average minute audience.
All of those business-world wordings and specific records are the product of what was one of the most anticipated games of the entire playoffs thus far. It was a rematch of the infamous game that never happened following Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s tragic cardiac arrest suffered after tackling Bengals wideout Tee Higgins.
Hamlin’s story went from him fighting for his life to triumph in a matter of weeks. The entire world started to root for him after his tragedy. He was expected to be at the game Sunday, and the prospect of his presence alone might’ve spiked viewership in certain demographics alone.
Cincinnati Confident in Another Super Bowl Run
The Bengals would end up defeating the Bills 27-10 in what ended up being a lopsided second half in Cincinnati’s favor. The game was out of hand during its closing moments, and it the worst beginning to dawn Bills and Kansas City Chiefs fans that had already bought tickets for the would-be neutral AFC Championship game. They would need to start looking at second-hand ticket sellers immediately.
Joe Burrow let that be known in his postgame interview. “Better send those refunds” he said.
For the second year in a row, the Bengals are one game away from the Super Bowl. The Chiefs will be a tall task for Burrow and company. Now, Patrick Mahomes’ high ankle sprain has thrown the game’s expected outcome into doubt for Kansas City.
The Chiefs and Bengals’ AFC Championship game will be live from Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday.