Time for our update on the Patriots television ratings. And the conclusion, no matter how off-putting the tenure of Roger Goodell has become, remains the same: Viewership around the NFL remains massive. And here in New England, it is something beyond massive when the Patriots are playing.
Thirty-seven of the 40 most-watched shows this season are NFL games, topped by the Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Eagles and Cowboys, which drew 32 million viewers despite issues with Verizon FiOS that led to the game being blacked out locally on Fox.
Second on that list is the Patriots’ thrilling 26-21 loss to the Packers Nov. 30, which drew 30.9 million viewers. Broadcasted on CBS, it was the most-watched regular-season Sunday game since Nov. 4, 2007, when the Patriots’ victory over the Colts drew an average of 33.8 million viewers.
The Packers game was the most-watched program in the Boston market for the week, drawing a 43.2 household rating and 66 share. It became the second Patriots game this season to crack the top five most-watched locally of all time, joining the Nov. 2 victory over the Broncos (47.2 rating/69 share).
Meanwhile, the Patriots’ victory last Sunday over the Chargers on NBC was the second-highest rated “Sunday Night Football” game ever in the Boston market, trailing only the Patriots’ 31-27 win vs. Green Bay on Dec. 19, 2010.
Patriots-Chargers drew a 41.1 rating and a 63 share in Boston and was the No. 1-ranked show in the market for the week.
The Patriots aren’t the only Robert Kraft-owned sports entity to draw well on television recently.
The Revolution’s 2-1 extra-time loss to the Galaxy in the MLS Cup Sunday drew a 3.1 household rating in Boston and a 1.9 in Providence on ESPN. They were the highest-rated local markets in the United States. Overall, the match drew a 0.6 overnight household rating for ESPN, up 0.1 from last year.
ESPN averaged 964,000 viewers nationally, while another 923,000 watched on UniMas and Univision Deportes, making it the most-watched MLS Cup since 1997 and third most-watched all time. Not bad at all, especially in context of the 3 p.m. start time in the heart of an NFL Sunday.
Meaning of ‘Life’
The NFL Network’s “A Football Life” biographies/documentaries are almost always worth watching, no matter the subject.
I have to admit, I recall thinking last season’s profile of then-Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis seemed out of place. Most of those profiled are long-since-retired legends, while his career was far from complete.
But a year later, the Revis edition of “A Football Life” might be an hour of fun viewing for Patriots fans, who might watch it with a more focused eye given his remarkable first season in New England. The episode emphasized Revis’s arduous recovery from a major knee injury suffered in September 2012 while he was with the Jets.
It’s hard to believe he’s ever been better than this year, which is a tribute to his work ethic and determination. I’ll keep you posted in the event the NFL Network re-airs its documentation of Revis’s recovery any time soon.
One other random thought on the “A Football Life” series: While watching back-to-back episodes on Cowboys icons Roger Staubach and Tom Landry recently, it was surprising how much footage was duplicated.
When it comes to fantasy sports popularity, the NBA lags a fair distance behind the NFL and Major League Baseball.
But the NBA’s demographics tend to run parallel to the demos of fans that are intensely involved in fantasy sports, which makes the league an appealing partner to online fantasy sports providers.
And given the appeal of the Celtics’ long-established brand, Thursday’s news that the franchise has reached a partnership with DraftKings Inc., a Boston-based force in the lucrative genre of online fantasy sports contests, was hardly a surprise.
DraftKings, which partnered with the Patriots in October and has more than 1 million registered users, will have prominent exposure at TD Garden, including signage courtside and on the Jumbotron. DraftKings will provide Celtics fans exclusive access to certain online daily and weekly fantasy sports competitions, as well as various other benefits and contests.
As first reported here in late November, the Boston Herald hired Sean Leahy, formerly a sports producer at BostonGlobe.com, as its new sports editor, passing over widely respected assistant sports editor Mark Murphy in the process. That decision came as a surprise to the Herald staff, but apparently there could have been even bigger surprises. Among those given at least cursory consideration for the sports editor job before Leahy’s hiring was Butch Stearns, the longtime Fox 25 sports guy and WEEI fill-in . . . Many readers have asked in recent weeks for an update on the condition of Comcast SportsNet New England’s Bob Neumeier, who suffered a stroke in late October. I wish there was further information to provide, but his family has chosen to maintain their privacy and keep information scarce, as of course it has every right to do. Here’s hoping for encouraging news the next time we hear something.