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Patriots are a big draw here; "The Voice" overplayed

By Alan Pergament

Western New Yorkers love to hate quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The Pats' 24-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers  had a 12.0 rating here Monday on ESPN, which made it is the highest-rated game on Monday Night Football here since Philadelphia defeated Washington (14.8) in the MNF season opener.

The Pats-Panthers rating was about 40 percent higher here than the previous four MNF games and about 20 percent higher than the season average. The season average is about 10, primarily because  the first four games had double-digit ratings. Monday's game was the first one in seven weeks to hit double digits here.  

I could almost hear the applause across WNY Monday night when the referee picked up the flag for a pass inference call against the Panthers on the last play of the game even though Pats' tight end Rob Gronkowski was clearly being held in the back of the end zone.

That's the kind of thing that usually happens to the Bills.

Monday's riveting football game had a slightly higher rating than than ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" (11.7) on Channel 7 and was twice as high as the three-hour edition of NBC's "The Voice" on Channel 2. NBC gave local viewers too much of a good thing with three hours of "The Voice" and paid for overplaying it.

The Pats game might also have taken a bite out of the audience for the promising new Fox series "Almost Human." It had a 4.0 rating Monday night on local affiliate WUTV, which was still higher than the 3.7 rating the pilot had Sunday night. That's a promising sign. I also would expect "Almost" will get a big boost from DVR and On Demand viewing over the next seven days.

The University at Buffalo football's team game at Miami of Ohio on ESPNU will have some tough competition tonight playing against the recharged Buffalo Sabres game with St. Louis on MSG.

The Bulls 51-41 loss to Toledo on ESPNU a week ago featuring quarterback Joe's Licata's 497-yard passing performance had only a 2.0 local rating, which was less than half of the 4.5 rating for the Bulls' televised 30-3 victory over Ohio University a week earlier on ESPN2. However, ESPN2 games typically have higher ratings.

Bizarre news decision of the day: NBC's "Today" led off this morning with Matt Lauer interviewing controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford even though Ford had nothing much to say and really didn't make any news. I can't imagine how that interview played in Peoria or most everywhere else in America when you consider all the crazy weather and other more important things that are going on in this country.   

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Drama | Sports | Sports on TV
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