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Patriots-Dolphins outdraws Tom Brady’s Buccaneers debut in Boston TV market

Cam Newton celebrates with Deatrich Wise after the Patriots sealed up the win over the Dolphins Sunday in the season opener.
Cam Newton celebrates with Deatrich Wise after the Patriots sealed up the win over the Dolphins Sunday in the season opener.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Patriots, featuring new quarterback Cam Newton, drew a big local television audience Sunday.

So did a certain former Patriots quarterback making his debut for his new team.

The Patriots' 21-11 victory over the Dolphins, highlighted by Newton’s two rushing touchdowns, earned a 30.8 overnight rating and a 65 share in the Boston market Sunday in the 1-4:15 p.m. window on Channel 4.

Not surprisingly, when the Patriots game ended, local fans weren’t done watching football, particularly one game.

Tom Brady’s debut with the Buccaneers — a 34-23 loss to the Saints — drew a 22.1 rating and 43 share on Channel 25 in the 4:30-7:45 p.m. window. The late-afternoon game on Fox is traditionally the highest-rated window of Sunday games.

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Rating is the percentage of all television households in a market. Share is the percentage of households with their televisions in use at the time the game aired.

The Patriots broadcast peaked with a 33.5 rating and 67 share from 3:15-3:30 p.m. The Bucs-Saints game peaked with a 22.8/47 from 5:15-5:30 p.m.

The 65 share is a typically huge number for a Patriots opener, but the 30.8 rating is slightly lower than usual, indicating that fewer people in the Boston market were watching television at game time than is typically the case on a Sunday afternoon.

The Patriots opener last year against the Steelers earned a 35.1 household rating and a 58 share in the market. That game aired in prime time on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

The last time the Patriots kicked off the season with a 1 p.m. start was in 2018, when they beat the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. That game got a 34.8 rating and 68 share in Boston.



Chad Finn can be reached at chad.finn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeChadFinn.