FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - According to the early overnight ratings, Sunday's New England Patriots 41-23 victory over the Broncos at Denver posted the highest CBS national regular season average rating (19.5)since 2007. Locally, the Patriots posted a season high with an average rating of 42.65 and a 68 share. The 68-share marked the third consecutive week that Patriots games have set season highs in percentage of households tuned in to the game. Viewership during the local broadcast peaked at a staggering 46.5 and boasted a 71 share.
With the 42.65 average HH rating and 68 percent share in the Boston (Manchester) DMA, the Patriots local broadcast on WBZ ended up being the third highest regular season rating in franchise history. The highest HH rating (50.1) occurred during Week 17 of the 2007 season as the Patriots completed the undefeated regular season against the New York Giants. Second on the list was the famous Miami snow game on Dec, 7, 2003 which drew a 43.8 rating locally. That game was punctuated by an iconic moment after Tedy Bruschi intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to secure a victory over the Dolphins to clinch an AFC East title.
The HH rating of 42.64 on Sunday significantly eclipsed the Week 12 record of 38.7 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Additionally, 68 percent of people in the Boston (Manchester) DMA watched the Patriots-Broncos game, topping the previous high of 67 set last Sunday against the Washington Redskins (12/11/11).
The win streaks, playoff implications, and hype surrounding the game helped CBS record the highest overnight rating of any network this season, earning at 19.5 Nielsen rating during the national window. The rating is the highest CBS broadcast rating in four years since the network recorded a 22.5 for the Patriots vs. Colts matchup on Nov. 4, 2007, when both teams were undefeated heading into Week 9.
The Patriots (11-3) extended their winning streak to six games and in the process clinched the AFC East Division title marking the 13th time in 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 that the Patriots have qualified for the playoffs and the eighth time in the last nine years that the Patriots have earned the division title. After two road games, the Patriots will be home for the holidays starting this Saturday, Dec. 24 at 1:00 p.m. when they host their AFC East rival Miami Dolphins (5-9). CBS will broadcast the game, which will be shown locally on WBZ Ch. 4 in the Boston market.