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Fox emerges as big winner of Lions-49ers NFC Championship game

Preliminary data shows the network grabbed over 56 million viewers for the highly-anticipated match-up on Sunday.

Preliminary data shows the network grabbed over 56 million viewers for the highly-anticipated match-up on Sunday.

More than 56 million people tuned in to watch the fan-favored Detroit Lions take on the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The National Football Conference (NFC) Championship match-up drew a total of 56.691 million viewers across broadcast, cable, satellite, streaming-like cable services, NFL Plus and the Fox Sports app, according to preliminary data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics as released by the network on Monday.

The game had a 79 share in Detroit and a 78 share in San Francisco, the home markets of each team, according to Nielsen data. Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox Sports, owns the Fox station in both cities.

Officials at Fox Sports said the game is on pace to be the highest-rated NFC Championship event since 2012, when the San Francisco 49ers met the Atlanta Falcons on their home turf. That game drew over 57.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.

Sunday’s game had a 19 percent bump in viewership compared to last year’s NFC Championship game, in which the Philadelphia Eagles injured and dominated the San Francisco 49ers to clinch a spot in Super Bowl LVII (57).

This time around, the 49ers are headed to Super Bowl LVIII (58), which airs on CBS and will stream on Paramount Plus. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Kansas City Chiefs for the championship game in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 11.


Editor’s note: This article will be updated with ratings data for the CBS telecast of the American Football Championship (AFC) game aired on Sunday once the data is made available.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).