The undefeated Patriots are winning beyond the football this season: They’ve become must-watch television when they appear in a national window.
CBS said on Tuesday that New England’s 27–26 win over the New York Giants on Sunday was its most-watched NFL game season-to-date in 2015, with an average viewership of 28.3 million. It is the second most-watched NFL game this season, trailing only Fox’s coverage of the Nov. 1 Seahawks-Cowboys game, which averaged 29.4 million viewers. NBC’s season-opening Steelers-Patriots game ranks third with 27.4 million viewers on Sept. 10. Fox’s broadcast of the Cowboys-Eagles on Sept. 20 is the fourth most-watched game of 2015 at 27.2 million viewers.
Why the reason for the increased ratings outside of individual team storylines? It could be the competitive nature of the games. The NFL said the average margin of competition is 10.2 points in 2015, the lowest average since 1970.