The NFL playoff game between longtime rivals the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys was watched by more than 41 million people — the highest audience for a wild card contest in seven years, according to CBS.
Driving viewership in part was the chaotic fourth quarter that saw the Cowboys battle back from a 23-7 deficit with a chance to take the lead with just minutes remaining. A slew of penalties and mistakes by both teams resulted in time running out for the Cowboys deep in 49ers territory.
CBS said 50 million people watched the ending of the game that sends San Francisco to Green Bay, Wisc., to the play the Packers on Jan. 22.
The NFL postseason remains a ratings giant, with the weekend’s other games drawing big numbers. More than 26 million people watched the Buffalo Bills easily beat the New England Patriots 47-17. The game was also streamed on Paramount+.
The Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles generated more than 30 million viewers, while the Cincinnati Bengals’ win over the Las Vegas Raiders generated almost 28 million viewers on NBC and Peacock. The platforms combined for more than 28 million viewers of the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs game won by KC.