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WNY has greatest ever Super Bowl rating and is No. 2 nationally

The Greatest Ever quarterback led Western New York to its Greatest Ever Super Bowl rating since meters began measuring audience here.

New England’s 34-28 overtime victory Sunday led by quarterback Tom Brady over the Atlanta Falcons had a 57.2 local rating during the game, according to WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. The game started about eight minutes late, with the rating going up from 56.7 when those minutes were dropped from the preliminary rating.

The 57.2 rating was 0.8 points ahead of the previous high, a 56.4 rating for last year’s Super Bowl won by Denver over Carolina. And Sunday's record local rating came in a season in which NFL ratings were down. (The four Buffalo Bills Super Bowl in the 1990s were played well before meters came here.)

Sports Business Daily reported the overnight rating of the top 56 markets was 48.8, with the Buffalo market placing second nationally. It was behind only Pittsburgh (57.9)  and just ahead of Atlanta (57.0). Boston was eighth with a 54.3. The national rating arrives later today. The Super Bowl was the highest-rated television program in Buffalo since meters came here in 2000.

The Patriots’ comeback win Sunday peaked with a 61.9 rating on WUTV from 10 to 10:15 p.m. as Brady was leading the winning touchdown drive. The rating actually slipped to a 59.5 from 10:15 to 10:30 p.m., which may indicate that some Bills fans didn’t want to see Brady finish it off and celebrate.

[Sullivan: Greatest ever puts on a show to remember]

Lady Gaga’s high-wire halftime performance kept Western New Yorkers in their seats and may have even grown the audience. The game had a 56.4 around the time the first half ended at 8 p.m., rose to a 57.7 when Lady Gaga started performing and dropped to a still healthy 56.9 rating at 8:30 p.m. after she was finished.

To put the game rating in perspective, the 57.2 rating is about four times the live rating of the top prime time show on television.

Post-Game Notes After Deadline: The much-anticipated meetings between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Brady and Patriot Owner Robert Kraft went off without any drama.

The meetings weren’t warm, but perfunctory. But Kraft let people know he hasn’t forgotten the penalties New England were given by the commissioner because of Deflategate. “A lot has transpired over the last two years,” said Kraft after getting the championship trophy. “I don’t think that needs any explanation. This is unequivocally the sweetest (championship).”

Fox made one regrettable mistake in keeping its microphones live as the Vince Lombardi Trophy was brought in and Patriots players kissed it. You could hear several players using an expletive before and after they kissed it. I know it was past the kiddies’ bedtime, but the audio still should have been silenced.


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