Touching All the Bases

Patriots’ Victory Over Broncos Is Second-Most-Watched Regular-Season Game on Record in Market


A Patriots-Broncos matchup featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning is an even bigger television draw than a Patriots-Broncos matchup featuring Tom Brady and Tim Tebow at the fleeting peak of “Tebowmania.”

Perhaps it’s not a surprise, but the Nielsen ratings brought confirmation nonetheless Tuesday. The Patriots’ 43-21 victory over the Broncos Sunday on CBS drew a 47.2 rating and a 69 share in the Boston market, making it the franchise’s second-most-watched regular-season game locally on record.

It trails only the 2007 regular-season finale, a 38-35 victory over the Giants that secured a 16-0 record. That game, which had a 50.1 rating and a 75 share, was simulcast on Ch. 4, 7 and the NFL Network.


Sunday’s game bounced a Dec. 18, 2011 matchup with Tebow and the Broncos from the No. 2 spot in local Patriots ratings. That game, a 41-23 Patriots win, drew a 46 rating and a 68 share.

Nationally, Sunday’s game, which aired in the 4:25 p.m. window, earned an 18.6 rating and a 32 share. That made it the second-most-watched game of the season on any network, trailing only the Cowboys-Seahawks Week 6 matchup on Fox.

The game is the third-most-watched game on CBS since 1998. It trails only a Nov. 4, 2007 Patriots win over Manning and the Colts and, curiously, the aforementioned matchup with the Tebow-led Broncos in 2011, which did better nationally than it did locally.


Yesterday’s matchup drew higher ratings in Boston than last season’s Patriots-Broncos showdown in the AFC title game (43.8 rating).

Ratings measures the percentage of television-equipped households turned into the game. Share is the percentage of televisions in use at the time that are tuned in.

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