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Rams-49ers NFL playoff game draws 50 million viewers to give Fox the weekly ratings win

A Los Angeles Rams player prepares to throw a football on the field.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFL NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium on Jan. 30.
(Doug Benc / Associated Press)
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Fox’s coverage of Sunday’s NFC championship game drew the largest audience for an NFL conference championship game since 2019, its 50.225 million viewers the most for a prime-time program since last year’s Super Bowl postgame show.

The Los Angeles Rams’ 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers averaged 26.523 million viewers and boosted Fox to average 11.26 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Jan. 24-30, the largest weekly audience for any network since its coverage of the opening five games of the 2021 World Series, Oct. 25-31.

The 14-minute postgame show that followed the game was the eighth-largest audience for a prime-time program in the 2021-22 prime-time television season, behind five NFL games, one NFL pregame show and one NFL postgame show.

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The cooking competition “Next Level Chef,” which followed the postgame show, averaged 8.105 million viewers, third for the week and top among non-sports programs and programs beginning at 10 p.m., according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

CBS finished second for the week, averaging 4.41 million viewers, followed by ABC, which averaged 2.84 million; Fox News Channel, which averaged 2.382 million; and NBC, which averaged 2.37 million. The CW averaged 510,000 viewers.

The highest-rated show on CBS was “NCIS,” fourth for the week, averaging 7.786 million viewers. CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the top comedy for the 17th consecutive week, averaging 7.729 million viewers, and fifth overall.

NBC’s biggest audience was for family drama “This Is Us,” 16th for the week, averaging 4.757 million viewers.

“Judge Steve Harvey” was ABC’s biggest draw for the third time in the four weeks the alternative courtroom comedy has aired, averaging 4.171 million viewers, 20th for the week.

The crime drama “Walker” was The CW’s top-ranked program for the seventh time in its nine episodes this season, averaging 1.044 million viewers, 128th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

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There were three premieres on the five major broadcast networks last week, all averaging less than 2 million viewers.

The ABC drama “Promised Land,” about two Latino families vying for wealth and power in the Sonoma Valley, averaged 1.893 million viewers, 66th among broadcast programs.

The CW dessert competition series “Great Chocolate Showdown” averaged 562,000 viewers, 195th among broadcast programs.

The CW documentary series “March,” about the Prairie View A&M University marching band, averaged 290,000 viewers, 233rd among broadcast programs.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of the NFC championship game and its 14-minute postgame show; 12 CBS entertainment programs; two editions of the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” with updated versions of previously broadcast segments; two Fox entertainment programs; and one entertainment program each from NBC and ABC.

The five editions of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” led all cable programs, topped by the Monday edition that averaged 3.774 million viewers, 25th for the week.

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Fox News Channel won the cable network race for the second consecutive week following four consecutive second-place finishes behind ESPN, averaging 2.382 million viewers. HGTV was second, averaging 1.217 million viewers, followed by MSNBC, which averaged 1.212 million.

CNN was 17th after finishing 14th for two consecutive weeks, averaging 528,000 viewers, 7.4% less than its 570,000 average the previous week. CNN also trailed Hallmark Channel (946,000), TNT (942,000), ESPN (900,000), Lifetime (896,000), TLC (875,000), History (806,000), A&E (739,000), Food Network (733,000), Discovery (728,000), TBS (715,000), Investigation Discovery (612,000), USA Network (598,000) and Travel Channel (580,000).

The top 20 cable programs consisted of 14 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and four of “The Ingraham Angle”; four editions of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”; History’s “The Curse of Oak Island”; and the Hallmark Channel movie “Butlers in Love.”

“The Royal Treatment” was the most-streamed English-language movie on Netflix for the second consecutive week, with viewers spending 26.85 million hours watching the romantic comedy in its first full week of release, according to figures released by the streaming service.

Viewership was down 37.4% from the 42.49 million hours watched the previous week, when the movie was available for four days.

The comedy “Home Team,” inspired by New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton coaching his sixth-grade son’s team during his suspension for his involvement in the Bountygate scandal, was second, with 21.05 million hours watched in its first three days of release.

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Netflix’s most popular television program for the second consecutive week was “Ozark,” with viewers watching the first seven episodes of the crime drama’s fourth and final season for 96.34 million hours in their first full week of release.

Viewership was up 25.1% from the 77.01 million hours watched the previous week, when the show was available for three days.

The eight-episode comedy mystery “The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window” was second with 40.08 million hours watched in its first three days of release.

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