How many people watched the NFC championship? 49ers-Lions draws near record with huge viewership

NFL fans were treated to a thrilling showdown between the 49ers and the Lions in the NFC championship.

The Lions appeared to take early control on the road against San Francisco and seemed to be in a position to advance to their first Super Bowl. Leading by 17 at the half, Detroit was showing an ability to do anything it wanted on offense.

But powered by a lopsided third quarter, the 49ers mounted a comeback, tied for the largest in NFC championship history, to take a late lead and add to its advantage before ultimately holding on to win 34-31 to advance to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years.

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The biggest NFL games always bring out big viewership numbers, and that was certainly the case for Sunday’s clash between the 49ers and Lions.

How many people watched the NFC championship?

Fox, the unofficial home of the NFC, has had some classic championship games in recent years, but it takes going back 12 years to find another game that had as many views as Sunday’s game.

There were 56,691,000 people tuned in to watch the 2024 NFC championship game, the most-viewed NFC championship carried by Fox since 2012 when there were 57,635,000 television sets tuned in to watch the Giants beat the 49ers, according to Fox Sports. That includes a peak viewership number of around 58,967,000, which came between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. ET.

Among Fox telecasts that weren’t the Super Bowl, it ranks fourth all-time, per the release.

The viewership, according to Fox, was up 19 percent over last year’s NFC championship, which drew 47,502,000 viewers, and was up seven percent over last year’s AFC title game carried by CBS, which had 53,126,000 views.

The 2012 NFC championship was the contest between the Giants and 49ers that went to overtime and ended with Lawrence Tynes kicking a 31-yard field goal to send New York to the Super Bowl behind a 20-17 victory. 

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