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Bills vs. Panthers: Josh Allen debut helps TV ratings soar

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Lots of eyes were tuned in on Thursday night.

To say local fans are excited for the Buffalo Bills’ 2018 season and rookie quarterback Josh Allen would be an understatement. If you look at the television ratings from Thursday night’s preseason opener, fans are practically percolating for the regular season to get here.

The game had an overall 21.9 rating in Buffalo, the best number of the summer by more than 10 points. Last year’s preseason opener had a 19.3 rating with a new coaching staff, but the addition of Allen and the other quarterbacks pushed Buffalo even higher in 2018. No wonder local TV stations put a premium on purchasing the rights to the team’s preseason games.

Even more fans tuned in to see the rookie quarterback. After Allen entered the game at 8:45 p.m., the rating spiked to 25.0 during his first real-time hour on the field before interest waned as the game reached the fourth quarter.