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CBS, Fox Draw Huge Audiences for AFC and NFC Championship Games

Fox drew 50.420 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms, while CBS averaged an audience of 47.851 million.

Jordan Bondurant

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The numbers are in and continuing the trend of the NFL having one of its best ratings years in recent memory, Fox and CBS reported massive audiences for Championship Sunday.

Fox Sports PR reported on Tuesday that the NFC Championship between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams saw 50.420 million tune in across TV and streaming platforms. The network said 55.218 million was the peak audience on Fox and Fox Deportes from 9:15-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Fox said it was the network’s best conference title game telecast since 2014.

ViacomCBS said the Cincinnati Bengals-Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship telecast was the network’s most-watched conference title game for the early window (3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET) in six years. The game averaged an audience of 47.851 million, peaking with 60.990 million tuning in.

CBS had NFL playoff games in all three rounds surpass 40 million viewers, joining its Thanksgiving game as the most-watched this season.

Those that watched on Viacom streaming platform Paramount+ made for its most-streamed non-Super Bowl game of all-time.

CBS said the 2021-22 season delivered the best viewership since 2015-16, averaging 21.053 million viewers during the regular season.

NBC will broadcast Super Bowl LVI and close to 100 million are going to watch, making it the most-watched event all year like it routinely is.

Sports TV News

Scott Hanson Clarifies NFL RedZone Missteps During Raiders/Seahawks

Hanson believed in the moment that CBS was airing the overtime period to a national audience. But due to NFL broadcasting rules, the game was only available on select stations.

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NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson ruffled feathers for many football fans Sunday when he told viewers to switch from the channel to their local CBS affiliates to see the conclusion of the Las Vegas Raiders and Seattle Seahawks game.

Unfortunately, for both viewers and Hanson, the game was only being shown in a small portion of the country, with the rest of the nation’s CBS affiliates already airing 60 Minutes. The game was also available to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers.

Hanson took to Twitter Sunday evening to explain what happened on the air and to apologize for the miscalculation.

Hanson believed in the moment that CBS was airing the overtime period to a national audience. But due to NFL broadcasting rules, the game was only available to stations in the Las Vegas, Fresno, Sacramento, Reno, Eugene, Portland, Boise, Seattle, and Spokane markets on the west coast. Additionally, the game was available in Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, and Charlotte.

He apologized for the mistake and said he would have more details at a later date.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Creates ACC/SEC Challenge

The series will begin for the 2023-2024 season, launching with 28 games played between the two sports.

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ESPN, in conjunction with the ACC and SEC, is slated to announce the creation of the ACC/SEC Challenge for men’s and women’s basketball.

The series will begin for the 2023-2024 season, launching with 28 games played between the two sports. That number will grow to 30 contests when the SEC expands for the 2025-2026 season.

Every game in the challenge will be aired on an ESPN platform, with each side hosting the same amount of home games.

The creation of the event comes on the heels of the Big Ten’s new media rights deal with FOX, NBC, and CBS, ending a nearly four-decade relationship with ESPN. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge began in 1999, with the SEC/Big 12 Challenging beginning in 2013. Both events will cease to exist following this season.

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Sports TV News

FOX Sports Sees Record-Setting Ratings Weekend

The World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

Jordan Bondurant

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FOX Sports has been home to a number of record-setting games in terms of viewership over the last several days.

In addition to FOX Sports setting a new mark for a Thanksgiving and regular season NFL audience, the World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

The network reported the U.S./England match in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup averaged 15.377 million. It was the most-watched English-language soccer game in the U.S. ever, topping the 1994 World Cup final between Italy and Brazil.

Viewership of the match was up 11% compared to the second group stage contest for the U.S. team in 2014 against Portugal. The audience peaked at 19.646 million from 3:30-3:45 p.m.

FOX Sports also reported the Michigan/Ohio State game on Saturday drew in 17 million, which made it the most-watched regular season college game on the network ever. That figure was also the highest of any regular season contest since 2011. That game also saw the audience peak at 19.6 million.

Viewership for the game was up 3% compared to last year.

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