FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Patriots' fans did not dare change the television station during last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Rob Gronkowski's record-setting performance and Jerod Mayo's game-saving interception fueled the broadcast to record strong marks in household (HH) ratings and HH share, posting a HH rating of 34.4 with a 67 percent share in the Boston (Manchester) designated market area (DMA). The 67 share established a new season high in the Boston (Manchester) DMA, surpassing the previous week's mark of 65 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Patriot nation viewership rose drastically throughout the entire broadcast. The CBS broadcast, shown locally on WBZ, opened at 1:00 p.m. with a HH rating of 25.9, but closed with an incredible mark of 39.8 as Mayo's final minute interception sealed the 34-27 victory for the Patriots. The 13.9 differential between the opening HH rating and the closing HH rating is the greatest viewership increase for the season. Furthermore, viewership was aided by Gronkowski, who set the NFL record for touchdown receptions for a tight end with 15 after he had six receptions for 160 yards and two scores.
New England (10-3) will look to extend their winning streak to six games as the Patriots travel to Invesco Field at Mile High to face the resurgent Denver Broncos (8-5) Sunday, Dec. 18 at 4:15 p.m. Denver currently owns the NFL's third longest active win streak with six consecutive wins. The highly anticipated matchup, featuring quarterbacks Tom Brady and Tim Tebow, is expected to be one of the highest rated games of the season. With a victory, the Patriots would qualify for the playoffs for the 13th time in 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
CBS will broadcast the game in its featured 4:15 p.m. ET time slot, featuring Jim Nantz on play-by-play and Phil Simms on color. It will air on WBZ Ch. 4 in the Boston market.