FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - New England local television viewership of Patriots games has never been higher and has continued to improve over the last five years. This season, New England recorded the highest seasonal per game household (HH) rating average (35.2) in the Boston/Manchester designated market area (DMA) in the last 10 years.
The seasonal average of 35.2 significantly surpassed last year's record setting HH rating of 34.85. Over the last five seasons, viewership has posted a season average HH rating of 30.0 or higher in four-out-of-five years (2011- 35.2, 2010- 34.85, 2009- 30.14, 2008- 25.28, and 2007- 33.60). Prior to that time frame, viewership never once topped a season HH rating average of 30.0.
Sunday's 49-21 victory over the Bills at a sold out Gillette Stadium recorded an impressive 37.10 HH rating in the Boston/Manchester DMA. Viewership of the broadcast opened with a HH rating of 26.9 at 1:00 p.m. and increased throughout the game, concluding at 41.3 with a HH share of 69, both were each game peaks.
The HH The HH rating of 37.10 identically matched the season opener in Miami (Sept. 12) Week 1 shown nationally on ESPN Monday Night Football and the Week 6 comeback win at home against Dallas (Oct. 16). Sunday's Week 17 HH rating against Buffalo (37.10) was 9.73 points higher than the Week 3 matchup against the Bills (27.37) - the highest in-year improvement from AFC East opponent this season. The 2011 season television ratings were highlighted by the highly anticipated Week 15 matchup between New England and Denver which included teams riding five and six game winning streaks respectively. The overnight HH ratings from the Week 15 broadcast was 42.65, the third highest-rated Patriots regular season game in the Boston (Manchester) television market all-time. Additionally, New England recorded a HH rating of 30.0 or higher in 14-out-of-15 possible weeks and have been over that mark since Week 3 at Buffalo (Sept. 25).
Furthermore, the percent of households (HH share) tuning into Patriots broadcasts has continued to rise over the years. The season HH share average per game was 60.10, marking the second time in franchise history that HH share season average has been above 60.0 (2010- 61.31). To put this season in prospective, the 2007 undefeated regular season recorded the highest HH share rating for any week in franchise history with a 75 percent of viewers during the Week 17 matchup against the New York Giants, yet the 2007 season HH share average was 55.9 per game.
New England's victory over Buffalo on Sunday, Jan. 1, secured the Patriots the number one seed in the AFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Patriots aim to continue their winning ways as they resume play at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 14 at 8:00 p.m. for the AFC Divisional Playoff game.