By Alan Pergament
Despite being played on a perfectly beautiful Sunday afternoon, despite their playoff drought and despite competing against one of the four major golf tournaments down the Thruway, the Buffalo Bills' 44-20 preseason victory over the Indianapolis Colts had a higher rating than any of the 2012 preseason games televised live.
The Bills game featuring the debuts of new Coach Doug Marrone and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel had a 15.7 preliminary rating on Channel 7, up 10 percent from the highest-rated of the three preseason game in 2012 (14.4).
The rating was about three times higher than the 5.5 rating that Jason Dufner's victory in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester received on Channel 4 for five hours Sunday afternoon. The PGA rating rose to the 7s and 8s after the Bills game ended around 4:45 P.M.
The PGA championship rating did get a bump because it was played close to home and got a large amount of local media coverage. The 5.5 rating was still higher than the 5.1 it had a year ago when it didn't compete against a Bills game.
To put the Bills rating in further perspective, it was about 30 percent higher than the highest-rated prime time program in Buffalo during July -- the CBS miniseries "Under the Dome." Multiple episodes of "Dome" averaged a 12.0 rating when viewership seven days after episodes originally aired live was counted.
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