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Amazing ratings: In beating Tim Tebow, Patriots prove again to be must-see TV

12.20.11 at 3:35 pm ET
By

All eyes were on Tom Brady and Tim Tebow, including millions on New England TV sets. (AP)

FOXBORO — The epic showdown between Tom Brady and the Patriots and Tim Tebow and the Broncos produced predictably epic TV ratings.

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, the year the Patriots went 16-0 regular season that ended with a first, a Patriots game broadcast locally on ABC, NBC and CBS outlets.

Locally, the Patriots posted a season high with an average rating of 42.65 and a 68 share. The 68 share represented the third straight week that Patriots games have set season highs in percentage of households tuned into the game. Viewership during the local broadcast peaked at a staggering 46.5 and a stunning 71 share.

With the 42.65 average HH (household) rating and 68 percent share in the Boston (Manchester) market, the Patriots local broadcast on WBZ was 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 Giants. Second on the list was the famous Miami snow game on Dec, 7, 2003, which drew a 43.8 rating locally. Fans will remember that game as the one where Tedy Bruschi intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to seal an AFC East-clinching win against the Dolphins.

As for this season, the HH rating of 42.64 on Sunday easily beat the Week 12 record of 38.7 against the Eagles. Additionally, 68 percent of people in the Boston (Manchester) area 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 a 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.

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