If you’re on practically any social media outlet, you saw someone gloating over the New England Patriots losing on Saturday night. Even non-football fans seemed to be crowing about it.
The Patriots bring out a lot of emotion, and television viewers too.
Patriots-Titans does massive ratings
The Patriots hadn’t played on wild-card weekend since the end of the 2009 season, and the NFL certainly didn’t mind the early postseason ratings bump.
Sports Media Watch said the game got a 17.1 rating with an average of 31.42 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. That’s the highest-rated Saturday wild-card game since a crazy Steelers-Bengals game in 2016 and the biggest audience since a Saints-Eagles game in 2014.
Even a Cowboys playoff game couldn’t out-do that. The Titans-Patriots rating was up 8 percent and the audience up 7 percent from the Seattle Seahawks-Cowboys wild-card game from the same Saturday night wild-card window last season, Sports Media Watch said. The Cowboys always draw a massive audience, but the drama surrounding Tom Brady and the Patriots was a huge attraction.
And the ratings for Patriots-Titans were up 34 percent from a Falcons-Rams game two years ago on Saturday night of wild-card weekend.
Patriots drive TV audiences
Ask anyone outside of New England and they’ll complain about the Patriots. Everyone will say they’re sick of watching them in the playoffs.
Perhaps that’s true, but a lot of people hate-watched on Saturday night. It’s not like Ryan Tannehill and the Titans bring a huge television audience. People wanted to see what could be the end of the Patriots dynasty.
Presumably the NFL likes having some new blood in the final eight of the postseason. This is the first time in 10 years the Patriots haven’t been involved in the divisional round of the playoffs, and there are many fun stories and new stars to take their place. But the league probably also knows that the television ratings might not max out with the Patriots’ season done because everyone would have kept tuning in to see if they lost.
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