Local Bengals-Chiefs TV ratings top 2022 Super Bowl
About 28,000 more Greater Cincinnati TV households watched the Bengals lose the AFC Championship game on WKRC-TV Sunday night than watched the Bengals-Rams in Super Bowl LVI on WLWT-TV last February.
CBS' Sunday night game drew a 48.7 rating and 464,700 TV households here compared to a 46.1 rating and 436,800 for NBC's Super Bowl telecast last Feb. 13.
Local viewership peaked Sunday at 9:45 p.m., late in the fourth quarter with the score tied 20-20, with a 49 rating, which translates into 488,900 TV households and 81% of all available TV households.
WKRC-TV's audience for CBS' broadcast of the Bengals' 27-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 13 was even bigger. The game averaged a 49.9 rating and 475,000 TV households here.
Nationally, the CBS telecast of the AFC Championship game "was the most-watched NFL Conference Championship in four years with 53.124 million viewers, up 11 percent" versus last year’s Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship game, CBS announced today.
"The Chiefs’ victory over the Bengals is the most-watched television program on any network since Super Bowl LVI. Sunday’s game peaked with 59.374 million viewers," CBS noted.
"Beating the Super Bowl is surprising to me, because that's the biggest NFL game of the year," says Jon Lawhead, Sinclair Broadcast Group group manager and WKRC-TV general manager.
"This year there are a lot of new people on the Bengals bandwagon," he says. "The Bengals have sold out their season tickets, and there's a waiting list for tickets for next year." Legalizing sports betting in Ohio effective Jan. 1 also may have increased interest in the Bengals and the NFL, he adds.
Being the local affiliate for the CBS network, which broadcasts the Bengals' American Football Conference, has been good for business.
"It's been a good season for the Bengals and good for us," he says.
After the Bengals opened the season with two losses, "they reeled off 10 straight wins. It just had to end sometime," Lawhead said.
Fox will broadcast Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, Feb. 12, from Phoenix with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.
It's been a good year for CBS. The networked "averaged 18.487 million viewers and scored its most-watched NFL regular season in seven years," CBS announced before the playoffs.