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Buffalo isn't part of NFL's ratings resurgence

Buffalo isn’t sharing in the National Football League's national ratings resurgence this season.

With the Buffalo Bills coming off their bye week, it is a good time to look at NFL ratings in Western New York for the first 10 weeks of the season compared to the first 10 weeks of the two previous seasons.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, NFL viewership was up about 2 percent for the first 10 weeks of the season compared to 2017.

Ratings here are either flat or down slightly for the first 10 weeks of the 2017 season in most categories.

The 3-7 start to the season for the Bills after they broke their lengthy playoff drought could have something to do with it.

The 10 Bills games this season have averaged a 34.8 rating, down from a 36.4 in 2017 and a 38.6 in 2016.

All NFL games are averaging a 12.7 rating here, down from a 13.7 rating in 2017 and a 13.5 in 2016.

The Bills game carried on Sundays by WIVB-TV (Channel 4) have averaged a 35.0 rating, down from a 36.8 in 2017 and a 39.8 in 2016.

The one Bills game carried on WUTV had a 28.1 rating, down from a 34.3 from the two games the Fox affiliate carried in 2017.

The non-Bills games carried on Channel 4 this season have averaged a 12.3 rating, down from a 14.9 in 2017 but close to a 12.6 in 2016.

The non-Bills games carried by WUTV are averaging a 9.6 rating, down from a 10.7 in 2017 but up slightly from a 9.5 in 2016.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is averaging a 13.8 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) this season, about equal to a 13.9 in 2017 and improved from a 12.4 in 2016.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” package is averaging a 9.6 rating, the same as the package had in 2017 and up from an 8.1 average in 2016. The Bills-Patriots game is excluded from this year’s rating.

“Thursday Night Football” is averaging a 7.9 rating on WUTV, down from a 10.1 a year ago when the games were carried on Channel 4 and Channel 2 and down from a 9.2 in 2016.

The Thursday night games on The NFL Network are averaging a 3.2 rating here, down from a 3.8 in 2017 and 3.7 in 2016.

Even with these slight declines, Bills games and NFL games remain the highest-rated programs in Western New York at a time when prime time viewership on the broadcast networks is diminishing at a fast rate.

The 13.8 local rating that the Buffalo Sabres' received on NBCSN for their 5-2 win over Philadelphia Wednesday night is very impressive by hockey standards. But it is less than half the rating of the lowest-rated Bills game this season.

Bills Announcers: Bills fans should be getting used to the announcing teams that will be working the team’s next two games. CBS’ Spero Dedes and Adam Archuleta will be working their third Bills game this season when Jacksonville comes to New Era Field Sunday. CBS’ Andrew Catalon and James Lofton will be working their third Buffalo game Dec. 2 when the Bills visit Miami.


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