At the start of Sunday’s telecast, CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz and analyst Phil Simms referred to the Buffalo Bills game against Pittsburgh as a playoff game because it was must-win for both teams.
The importance of the game and the snow that most likely kept more Western New Yorkers inside their homes than usual undoubtedly made Pittsburgh’s dominating 27-20 win the highest-rated game of the season. .
The game had a 42.3 rating on WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate. It peaked with a 46.0 rating at 3:15 p.m.
The previous season high was a 41.6 rating for the Bills' 38-24 loss to Oakland a week earlier.
The Bills last playoff game was in 1999, the year before viewership in Buffalo was measured by people meters. If and when the Bills break the playoff drought, a 50-55 rating here would be a reasonable expectation.
Even with the Bills all but eliminated from the playoffs, their final three games this season are expected to get ratings in the low to high 30s.