FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - When the Patriots closed out their 2014 season with a Super Bowl victory, they did so in front of a wide audience, as Super Bowl XLIX became the most watched TV broadcast in US history. It was clear during the Patriots preseason home opener that fans were excited to get back to football. The game garnered a 15.9 household rating and a market share of 27, making it the highest rated TV program in the Boston market since the Academy Awards aired on ABC on Feb. 22, 2015. It was the highest rated program on WBZ in Boston since the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, 2015.
The Thursday night preseason matchup rated higher than the Republican primary debates, the Stanley Cup and the NBA Finals. It also marked the highest rated preseason opener since switching to its current LPM (Local People Meter) measurement method in 2002.
The broadcast drew an average of 521,400 viewers, the third-highest mark of any Patriots preseason opener in the LPM era.
The Patriots will hit the road this week to take on the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised in Boston on the Patriots preseason flagship station, WBZ Channel 4. Dan Roche will be joined by former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria in the broadcast booth, while former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatman and WBZ's Steve Burton provide commentary from the sideline.