FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Patriots started the season strong once again with a come-from-behind 23-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday that was their tenth consecutive opening-day victory dating back to 2004. Their success also translated into the broadcast booth, as CBS' telecast was the second-most watched early afternoon opener in Patriots history since 2001.
New England's Week 1 opener drew an average household rating of 30.8 and averaged 1,123,700 total viewers. The only other Patriots opener with a 1 PM start time to top those numbers in the last 12 years was last season's Week 1 contest at Tennessee, which drew a 33.5 average household rating with 1,148,300 average total viewers.
Sunday's game also delivered an average of 63.4 household ratings per share, meaning that an average of 63.4 percent of all televisions in the Boston market tuned in to CBS between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m to watch the Patriots.
The rest of the NFL's opening weekend was also popular in the Boston market. Thursday night's Broncos-Ravens NFL Kickoff game drew a 13.3 household rating and beat out that night's Red Sox-Yankees game, which drew an 11.1 household rating, for the most-watched event of the evening. On a national scale, CBS' Week 1 coverage of "THE NFL ON CBS," which included Sunday's game against the Bills, earned its highest rating in 14 years and saw an 8% increase in household ratings per share from last season's opening weekend.
The Patriots will be in the national spotlight this week as they take on the New York Jets on Thursday, Sept. 12 in their regular season home opener. The game will be broadcast nationally by NFL Network, with Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock calling the game from the booth and Alex Flanagan reporting from the sidelines. Kickoff is set for 8:25 p.m. and will be aired locally on WCVB-Channel 5.