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Rating for Bills-Ravens will be tough to beat Sunday; Bills tailgate story planned for NBC pregame

Alan Pergament

The rating for the Buffalo Bills’ first appearance on NBC’s Sunday Night Football against Pittsburgh should be sky high but it won’t be easy to exceed the rating for the Bills’ 24-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.

The Bills-Ravens game had a season-high 45.5 rating and 72 share on WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate. That made Buffalo the highest-rated CBS metered market in the country last Sunday.

A 45.5 rating means that 45.5% of households here were tuned into the game and the 72 share means that 72% of households watching any TV program from 1 to 4:15 p.m. or so were watching the Bills game against the Ravens led by quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The previous season high for a Bills game was a 44.1 for the victory over Denver.

The Bills-Baltimore game carried by CBS went to 68% of the country.

Here’s an extra reason to tune in to NBC’s pregame studio show, “Football Night in America,” at 7 p.m. Sunday.

According to a NBC publicist, a production crew came to Buffalo last Friday to ”gather sound from players about this year’s team and the Bills fan base. That same production team also attended the game last Sunday vs. Ravens and spent the morning in the parking lot with a number of colorful characters from the Bills Mafia. "

One of my astute readers, Bob B, was perplexed by a comment made by SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth in the interview that ran online Thursday.

Here are the lines about Collinsworth’s relating to the wind conditions that Bills quarterback Josh Allen has experienced this season at New Era Field:

He can relate. His streak of catching a pass in about 50 straight games ended “on a horrible day in Buffalo. It was freezing, rain, wind howling. We were getting killed in the game. And (coach) Sam Wyche asked me, ‘Do you want to go back in and try to keep your streak alive?’ I said ‘Heck, no.’ ”

Bob B checked (I wish I had) and saw that Collinsworth played in only one game in Buffalo in 1985. It was 50 degrees and the Bengals won, 23-17.

“In a true exaggeration of Buffalo’s weather, the game wasn’t freezing or windy,” wrote Bob B. “It does look like it was raining though. Also, the Bengals didn’t get killed. Maybe being a Florida boy he thinks 50 degrees is freezing but playing in Cincinnati in late fall is usually cold.”

Bob’s facts checked out, so I edited out Collinsworth’s quote and asked my contact in NBC’s public relations department to ask the analyst whether the reference book missed another Bengals here game or if he made a mistake. He is studying for the Bills-Pittsburgh game so it may take a while for the explanation.

It’s hard to blame Collinsworth if he confused Buffalo with somewhere else. After all, he retired more than 30 years ago.


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