How to watch the AFC Championship game: Bengals vs Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals line up against the Kansas City Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals line up against the Kansas City Chiefs (Image credit: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Image)

There are two more games before the field is set for Super Bowl LVII, with the AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs ad the NFC Championship game featuring the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. In this post, we're focusing on how viewers can watch the AFC Championship game (see how to watch the NFC Championship game here).

After the first two rounds of 2023 NFL playoffs, The Bengals and Chiefs are quite familiar with each other, with this being their fourth meeting in the last two seasons, and second consecutive year meeting in the playoffs.

Here's what you need to know about how to watch the Bengals vs Chiefs AFC Championship game.

How to watch the AFC Championship game in the US

The AFC Championship game airs on CBS, which makes it easy for anyone with a traditional cable pay-TV subscription to watch, as the network is carried by all providers. But if you've cut the cord and are opting for a live TV streaming service, FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV carrying CBS as part of the base lineup.

There is also a pure streaming option, as there are live NFL games on Paramount Plus available to all US subscribers, regardless of what plan you sign up for.

Then there's the NFL Plus streaming service, which allows subscribers to watch nationally broadcast games (including every playoff game) live on their mobile devices. 

How to watch the AFC Championship game in the UK

UK NFL fans can watch the AFC Championship game on Sky Sports' Main Event and NFL channel, which requires a subscription to Sky TV to watch. Coverage for the game starts at 11:30 pm UK.

How to watch the AFC Championship game from anywhere

If you're going to be away from your normal TV setup but still want to watch the AFC Championship game, you might run into some problems. Thankfully, you can solve this exact issue with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

A VPN lets you change your IP address to that of the area of what you want to watch, meaning you can tune in to your major sporting events like the NFL playoffs or other content even if you're not there. Our favorite is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), which is the No. 1-rated VPN in the world right now according to our sister site, TechRadar.

AFC Championship game preview

Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce (Image credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2022 AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs was so good, why not do it again? After another year of Joe Burrow's Bengals and Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs being two of the best teams in the league, they made their way back to the AFC Championship game, where the Bengals are hoping to go to their second straight Super Bowl and the Chiefs are looking for payback after last year's defeat.

The Bengals are rolling into the AFC Championship after a routing of the Buffalo Bills in the snow in Buffalo during the Divisional round. Burrow has established himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, with a stash of weapons with his receivers (Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd) and running back Joe Mixon. They ended the regular season as the eighth best offense in total yards and top five in passing yards per game. There is a worry about their banged up offensive line (three starting offensive lineman are expected to miss the AFC Championship game), but the unit help up well against the Bills last week.

Defensively the Bengals are right in the middle of the pack, but they have been playing well in the postseason, including shutting down Buffalo's high-powered offense.

Behind Mahomes, the Chiefs have arguably the best offense in the league, even after they traded star wide receiver Tyreek Hill last offseason; it helps when you have a sure-fire Hall of Famer at tight end in Travis Kelce. However, there is some concern as Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in their Divisional round game against Jacksonville. Mahomes left the game for a short time and though he finished the game, including throwing a touchdown to help them win, he was limping and limited in using his mobility. The big question is how much will the injury impact Mahomes this week and how much can the Bengals defense take advantage of that.

The Chiefs defense will try to level the playing field, particularly against Cincinnati's banged up offensive line. Defensive tackle Chris Jones had 16.5 sacks in the regular season, can he be as disruptive and impact Joe Burrow in the biggest game of the Chiefs' season? He may have to so his secondary can have a chance against the Bengals receivers.

The Bengals have beaten the Chiefs three straight times, but oddsmakers have this game as pretty much a tossup.

AFC Championship FAQs

What time is the AFC Championship game?

The AFC Championship game is set for 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT on Sunday, January 29. It is the second game of  Championship Sunday, with the NFC Championship game taking place at 3 pm ET/noon PT.

Who is hosting the AFC Championship game?

For the fifth straight year, the Kansas City Chiefs are hosting the AFC Championship game at their home field, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

There was a chance that the AFC Championship game could have been played at a neutral site because of the Bengals vs Bills cancelled game in week 17, but the Bengals beating the Bills removed that scenario. 

Even though Cincinnati played one less game than the Chiefs, because they had one more loss in the regular season, it gives the Chiefs home field.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).