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Patriots preseason home opener vs. Tampa Bay is most watched program for second straight week

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Patriots returned to Gillette Stadium to make their 2013 home debut on Aug. 16 and earned a 25-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their second game of the preseason.

The team's home opener was broadcast nationally on FOX at 8 p.m., with Kenny Albert calling play-by-play, Daryl Johnston providing color and Tony Siragusa reporting from the sideline. FOX's broadcast finished as the top program in the Boston market for the week of Aug. 12, delivering a 14.7 household rating with an average of 455,200 total viewers.

Friday night marked the second straight week that a Patriots preseason game has finished on top of the local ratings. New England's Aug. 9 win over the Philadelphia Eagles took home top ratings for the week of Aug. 6 with a 14.4 household rating and an average of 494,700 viewers.

FOX's national broadcast peaked at 8:45 p.m. on Friday night with 579,200 viewers and a household rating of 17.9, marking a 5.9% increase from last week's contest at Philadelphia, which peaked at 9 p.m. with a 16.9 household rating.

The Patriots head back on the road this week, traveling to Detroit on Thursday to take on the Lions in their third game of the preseason. The contest will mark the return of WBZ-TV's new broadcasting format, as the network will air the game at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night. Play-by-play man Dan Roche and color analyst Christian Fauria will have the call from the booth, while Matt Chatham and Steve Burton will report from the sideline. Patriots Football Weekly writers Paul Perillo and Andy Hart will once again provide live insight and analysis from their studio at Gillette Stadium.

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