It may have seemed like half of Western New York was in Nashville Sunday watching the Buffalo Bills defeat the Tennessee Titans, 14-7.
But actually most Western New Yorkers were in front of their TV sets.
The game had a season-high 41.7 rating on WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate.
That was four-tenths of a point higher than the 41.3 rating a week earlier for the Bills’ 16-10 home loss to the New England Patriots.
The results of the ratings are delayed by a day now that Nielsen has added to its sampling size of households.
The rating for the win over Tennessee peaked at 46.7 from 3:45 to 4 p.m. Sunday, meaning 46.7 percent of Western New York households were watching the game at that point.
It was the highest-rated Bills game since a 43.1 rating for their 22-16 win over Miami in the 2017 regular season finale that – along with a Cincinnati win over Baltimore later in the day – got the Bills into the playoffs.
The Bills’ 10-3 playoff loss to Jacksonville that followed had 51.1 rating.
The Bills’ 17-16 win over the New York Jets in this season’s opener had a 36.0 rating on WIVB and wins over the New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals had the same 36.4 rating.
An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Bills fans were in Nashville watching the game, who could have driven Sunday’s rating even higher if they had watched on television.
Once again, NFL games dominated the local TV ratings.
Green Bay’s 34-24 win over Dallas had a 16.8 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate, that was played after the Bills game ended.
Indianapolis’ 19-13 upset of the Kansas City Chiefs on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” had a 15.6 rating on WGR-TV, the local NBC affiliate.
Minnesota’s 28-10 win over the New York Giants opposite the Bills game had a 0.9 rating on WUTV.
To put the local NFL ratings in perspective, the only prime-time network entertainment program to get a live double-digit rating last week was CBS’ long-running Tuesday night hit “NCIS” (13.6) and it is only an hour program.