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Bills rating is strong, but 2 percent lower than previous weeks

With the Buffalo Bills a surprising 3-1 going into Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, you might have expected the TV rating to hit a season-high.

It didn't happen.

Cincinnati's 20-16 victory had a 36.0 rating on WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate.

That is a strong rating but about 2 percent lower than the ratings for the Bills upsets the previous two weeks over Denver (36.9) and Atlanta (36.8).

It is hard to say if the slightly lower rating is a response to the number of Bills protesting during the National Anthem before the Denver game, illustrative of Bills fans not buying into the belief that this team has playoff possibilities, a combination of those two scenarios, or something totally unrelated.

Still, the Bills are easily the top TV draw in Western New York.

Here are some comparisons:

The second-highest TV program Sunday was Green Bay's last-minute, 35-31 victory over Dallas, which had a 15.5 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate.

Kansas City's 42-34 victory over Houston on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" that likely had Bills fans lamenting the team not drafting Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson had a 12.0 rating on WGRZ-TV, the local NBC affiliate.

The Buffalo Sabres' 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders Saturday night had a 6.8 rating on MSG.

The highest-rated broadcast network program in prime time locally Sunday was "60 Minutes" with an 11.0 rating on Channel 4.

The second-highest prime time program Sunday was CBS' new drama, "Wisdom of the Crowd" with an 8.7 rating on Channel 4.

The second episode of "Saturday Night Live" had the same 4.4 rating on Channel 2 that the premiere had a week earlier.


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