In the first ratings test since Sunday's Buffalo Bills-Denver game, reports of a large percentage of Western New Yorkers being turned off by the protests at NFL games turned out to be greatly exaggerated.
This is only one market and may not mean anything beyond Buffalo.
But Green Bay's 35-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on CBS' Thursday Night Football had a local rating that was higher than three of the four non-Bills games on TNF a year ago on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and was the top-rated TV program of the night despite being a blowout, having a 47-minute weather delay and ending at 12:34 a.m.
The four-hour game had a 9.5 rating on Channel 4 from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. If you remove the weather delay from 9:15 to 10 p.m., the rating grows to a 10.3. The rating from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. was 10.2 even with a 6.5 rating for the last 30 minutes of coverage.
A year ago, the four non-Bills games on CBS' portion of Thursday Night Football averaged a 9.2 rating. The only one with a higher rating than this Thursday's game was an 11.6 rating for a game featuring the team Bills fans love to hate, the New England Patriots, and the Houston Texans. The three other non-Bills games had ratings of 8.6, 8.2 and 8.4.
This just in: CBS reports that the game had a national overnight rating in about 56 top TV markets of 9.9, which was 6 percent higher than the rating for the TNF game between the two teams last year on Oct. 20, 2016. It added the game averaged a 9.5 rating from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and peaked at an 11.3 rating from 9 p.m. to 9;15 p.m. before the weather delay.
For further comparisons, the highest-rated entertainment program Thursday night locally was NBC's revival of "Will & Grace," which averaged a 8.7 rating for a half hour on WGRZ-TV, the local NBC affiliate.
The top-rated ABC program was the two-hour season premiere of "Grey's Anatomy," which had a 5.0 rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7).
The top-rated Fox program was "The Orville," which had a 3.3 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate.