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Bills vs. Browns was highest-rated program of summer

The second preseason episode of “The Josh Allen Show” Friday night was a much bigger ratings hit than the opener eight nights earlier.

The Buffalo Bills’ 19-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns led by quarterbacks Allen and Nathan Peterman had a 23.8 rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7) from 7:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., making it easily the highest-rated program of the summer here.

That’s about nine percent higher than the 21.9 rating for the Bills’ 28-23 loss to Carolina in the preseason opener at New Era Field.

And it is about 33 percent higher than the 17.9 rating for the second Bills preseason game in 2017, a 20-16 road loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia on a Thursday night.

You might expect ratings to be higher on a Thursday night than a Friday night, when more people start celebrating the weekend. Of course, more viewers can be available for road games because they aren't in their seats at New Era.

Allen’s extended work at quarterback in the second quarter and early in the third quarter clearly was an attraction Friday.

Allen, the Bills No. 1 draft choice, entered the game at 8:26 p.m., stayed in until halftime at 8:55 p.m. and started the second half at 9:08 p.m. before departing at 9:16 p.m.

The rating hit a 25.6 from 8:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and went up to a game-high 25.9 from 8:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. and stayed in the 23-25 range almost to the end.

You can’t attribute all the high ratings in those time periods to Allen because some viewers may have just joined the telecast late no matter who was at quarterback.

The rating actually rose to a 25.3 from 9:30 p.m. to 9:45 when Peterman took over for Allen and the rating stayed within a point until the final 15 minutes of the telecast.

The high rating for the game also might have been because Bills fans were interested in seeing the team’s former quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, start before the NFL’s No. 1 draft choice, Baker Mayfield, took over.

Allen had a good night, driving the Bills to 13 points. Looking at social networks this morning, he is clearly the people’s choice to start the season opener over  Nathan Peterman, the second-year quarterback who had better statistics Friday night.

However, Peterman was game analyst Steve Tasker’s choice.

At the end of the game when play-by-play man Andrew Catalon asked Tasker to assess the quarterback situation, the analyst praised Peterman.

“Peterman has just played the best and most consistently,” said Tasker. “I think Peterman is going to be the guy the Buffalo Bills are going to open the 2018 season with in Baltimore.”

Curiously, Tasker, Catalon and sideline reporter Thad Brown only reported during the game that quarterback A.J. McCarron, who started the game, had a shoulder injury.

The Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci tweeted during the game that McCarron had suffered a fractured right collarbone.

The TV crew apparently was waiting for official word from the Bills, which didn’t come from Coach Sean McDermott after the game.

apergament@buffnews.com

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