The 49ers may have been better than the Cowboys on Sunday, but together they were an unbeatable combination on television, delivering the highest-rated NFL wild card game in seven years.
The 49ers’ rapid 23–17 victory over Dallas garnered an average of 41.50 million viewers on the network CBS and Nickelodeon’s kid-friendly “SlimeCast”. This made Sunday’s game the highest-rated TV event on any network since last February’s Super Bowl LV.
No wonder why Troy Aikman felt like he had been thinned out. The Fox analyst was jealous of the CBS crew, while he and partner Joe Buck were calling Tampa Bay’s one-sided victory over Philadelphia.
During the Eagles’ second half of the Buccaneers, Buck was discussing the upcoming 49ers-Cowboys game, which was knocked out by Ackman.
Troy Ackman Wishes He Was in Dallas Right Nowpic.twitter.com/N4ROuA39KP
— Dove Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) 16 January 2022
Before deadpanning, former Cowboys star quarterback Aikman said, “It’s going to be a great game.. a really good game.”
Viewership for the 49ers-Cowboys game topped the end of the predictably tight game, when more than 50 million people were watching. The average viewership of 41.50 million was the highest for any wild card game since the Cowboys-Lions game on Fox in 2015, which attracted 42.32 million.
Sunday’s ratings marked the second major viewership for a Cowboys game this season. Nearly 41 million people watched Dallas lose to the Raiders in overtime on Thanksgiving Day.
There’s evidence the Cowboys may still be an American favorite, but the 49ers have played in four of the top-rated five NFC Championship games, maybe they’re America’s teams?
— Nickelodeon (@nickelodeon) 16 January 2022
49ers-Cowboys’ ratings count also included a SlimeCast broadcast on Nickelodeon, which attracted 1.33 million of the game’s total viewership. That number is significantly lower than last year’s Slimcast, which drew an average of 2.1 million viewers for Bear-Saints games on Nickelodeon.
Meanwhile, the Raiders-Bengal game on NBC received the fourth-worst rating of last weekend’s five wild card games. The Raiders-Bengal game averaged 27.7 million viewers only to top the Patriots-Bills blowout, which clocked 26.4 million.