There was plenty of excitement from the frigid temperatures of Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon. It came down to a San Francisco 33-yard field goal off the foot of kicker Phil Dawson as time expired to give the 49ers a 23-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
20 of the game’s 43 points were scored in the 4th quarter – including 10 by each team — creating plenty of drama for anyone viewing the game.
As it turns out, a record number of people saw those events transpire.
In a tweet from NFL public relations person Greg Aiello, 49ers vs. Packers on Sunday set a new mark for viewership for the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.
49ers-Packers was most-watched Wild Card game ever, averaging 47.1 million viewers — +11% over previous high of 42.4 million.
— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) January 6, 2014
And, as USA Today’s Chris Chase points out, the game outdrew major American telecasts such as the Academy Awards (40.3 million viewers) and the Grammy’s (28 million).
In an interesting note from the USA Today report, the game outdrew every NFL game last season, minus the Super Bowl, of course.
Even more surprising is that the Packers-49ers viewership was higher than every football game last season with the exception of the Super Bowl (108.7 million) and AFC championship (47.7 million). Five million more people watched an NFC wild card game than last season’s NFC championship, which also featured the 49ers.
That wasn’t the only record set, either.
77,525 fans packed into Lambeau to see the game, setting a new record for the storied stadium. It’s safe to say NFL viewership is safe-and-sound — in fact it appears to be growing, with reports like these coming out.