Bills-Chiefs TV ratings: Allen vs. Mahomes hits 50 million viewers, becomes most-watched divisional round game ever

The Bills and Chiefs created NFL television history Sunday night. 

Heading into the divisional round, the contest between the two AFC powerhouses was undoubtedly going to draw tons of viewers. Between the elite QB matchup of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, plus the added Taylor Swift fan base tuning in to watch their favorite singer’s beau, it had all the makings of an all-time showdown. 

The game itself did not disappoint, as Allen and Mahomes went blow-for-blow for 60 minutes. However, a Tyler Bass missed field goal late in the fourth quarter allowed Kansas City to escape chilly Buffalo with a 27-24 victory. 

While Highmark Stadium was filled with over 70,000 crazed Bills mafia members and traveling Chiefs faithful, there were plenty of viewers watching the intense action from the comfort of their homes — a record-breaking number in fact. 

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Here is what fans need to know about the historic viewing numbers for the Bills-Chiefs divisional round. 

Bills-Chiefs tv ratings

If you predicted that the Buffalo-Kansas City matchup would be the most watched contest of the weekend, you would be correct.

The Texans-Ravens matchup on Saturday afternoon set a high standard to start the divisional round, as the AFC contest became the most-watched game ever on ESPN, hitting 31.8 million viewers. 

Despite that high mark, it didn’t come close to the Bills-Chiefs numbers. After all was said and done, the Buffalo-Kansas City matchup was the most viewed divisional round game ever in NFL history, becoming the first contest in the round to surpass 50 million viewers. 

The previous mark for a non-Super Bowl or conference championship game was 48.52 million viewers, which occurred during the 2017 divisional round when the Packers and Cowboys clashed. 

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In addition, it shattered the previous high for the 2023 season. The Commanders-Cowboys Thanksgiving game on CBS brought in 41.76 million viewers on the holiday. 

Bills-Chiefs playoff TV ratings

The matchup in the 2024 playoffs marked the third time that Allen and Mahomes went head-to-head in the postseason. Like the previous two contests, it was the Chiefs that emerged victorious, sending the Bills home early for the third time in the last four postseasons. 

All three playoff games have delivered non-stop entertainment from start to finish, bringing in a high number of viewers each and every time. 

Here is a look at the TV ratings for all of the Mahomes vs. Allen battles in the postseason:

Season Round Result TV ratings
2020 AFC Championship Chiefs 38, Bills 24 42.33 million
2021 AFC Divisional Round Chiefs 42, Bills 36 42.74 million
2023 AFC Divisional Round Chiefs 27, Bills 24 50.93 million

Source

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