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Bills-Jaguars playoff game makes local TV history

The Buffalo Bills' 10-3 loss to Jacksonville Sunday in a NFL wild-card playoff game made ratings history.

It had the season's highest TV rating and approached Super Bowl-type numbers.

The game had a 51.1 rating and a 77 share on WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate. It peaked with a 54.7 rating near game's end at 4 p.m.

That means 51.1 percent of TV households in Western New York were tuned into the game and 77 percent of households watching anything on TV at the time were watching the tension-filled, ugly game.

It is likely the highest-rated Bills game in history.

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That's because there are no comparisons of past Bills playoff games because Sunday's game was the first here since meters started measuring the audience in 2000. The Bills' four Super Bowls losses in the 1990s were played before meters and outside the sweeps periods when diaries measured the audience.

The highest-rated regular season game this year was a 46.7 for the Bills' 13-7 victory over Indianapolis in the snow game at New Era Field.

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The highest-rated NFL game in Buffalo since meters came here in 2000 was a 57.2 for New England's comeback win over Atlanta in the 2017 Super Bowl. Super Bowls have been getting local ratings in the 50s annually since 2010.

The ratings for the three playoff games over the weekend not involving the Bills averaged a 21.3 on Channel 4, WUTV (Fox), WGRZ-TV (NBC) and WKBW (ABC) and ESPN.

A year ago, the four non-Bills games averaged a 21.4, led by a 27.0 rating on Channel 4 for Miami's game against Pittsburgh.

The Buffalo Sabres' loss to Philadelphia opposite the Bills game on MSG had a 1.1 rating, which is the lowest-rated game in recent history. The team was averaging about a 5.5 rating before Sunday's game.

NBC's prime-time coverage of the Golden Globes had a strong 13.8 rating on Channel 2.

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