The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots game was supposed to be one to remember, and it certainly lived up to the billing. The back-and-forth affair, marred with plenty of controversy, did more than just draw big attendance numbers at Heinz Field — it set a new mark for TV ratings in the 2017 season.
THE NFL ON CBS coverage on Sunday, Dec. 17 scored the highest rating of the 2017 NFL season on any network with the National 4:25 PM, ET game window that featured New England’s win over Pittsburgh with an average metered market HH rating/share of 17.0/32, up +8% from last year’s 15.8/29 for the comparable National game (Denver-New England).
This year’s game rating/share peaked with a 20.5/36 from 7:00-7:30 PM, ET.
This year’s rating/share also was THE NFL ON CBS’ highest-rated regular-season game telecast since 2015 (18.3/32; 11/15/15; New England-N.Y. Giants, Kansas City-Denver).
Many wondered why the game wasn’t televised nationally on NBC for Sunday Night Football, and the reason is because CBS protected the game, not allowing the NFL to flex the game to prime time.
You may not have liked the outcome of the game, but it certainly was entertaining, and plenty of people were watching — just what the NFL wants.