Western New York's intense dislike of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, as well as all the former Buffalo Bills playing and coaching in the Philadelphia Eagles' 41-33 victory over the Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl, fueled local NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) to the top rating among 56 NBC stations in metered markets across the country.
The 56.4 preliminary rating Sunday on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) tied with the rating for the 2016 Super Bowl win by the Denver Broncos over Carolina, 24-10, for second place in Western New York for all Super Bowls since meters began measuring ratings here in 2000.
The rating means 56.4 percent of Western New York households were tuned to the game.
The Patriots' overtime win over Atlanta in the 2017 Super Bowl had an all-time Western New York high live rating of 57.2 on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. Western New York had the second highest live rating in the nation for the 2017 game. It grew to a 57.5 after later viewing was added. That's a live rating decline this year of a little more than 1 percentage point from a game that went into overtime.
Philadelphia finished second in the country Sunday with a 56.2 rating and Boston third with a 55.9 rating. Nationally, the overnight rating in the top 56 markets was 47.1, down 6 percent from the 49.9 for the 2017 Super Bowl.
Despite Buffalo ranking No. 1 in rating for Sunday's game, the audience in the cities of the two competing teams was about four or five times larger than it was in Buffalo because they are much bigger markets.
Buffalo is the No. 53 market in the country, with a ratings point worth 5,928 households. A rating point in Philadelphia, the No. 4 market, is worth 28,696 households. A ratings point in Boston, the No. 10 market, is worth 24,254 households.
Almost all the Western New York audience stayed Sunday for Justin Timberlake's halftime performance. The local rating for the 30-minute halftime break was about 55.7.
The heavily promoted episode of "This Is Us" that followed the 39.5 rating for NBC's postgame show had a strong 16.7 rating. The "This Is Us" rating is expected to soar after later viewing is added because it started at bedtime for many viewers and some other fans of the show may have been celebrating outside their homes.
Story topics: TV ratings