The Buffalo Bills’ previous preseason game against the Cleveland Browns may have been the highest-rated local TV event of the summer, but Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals topped it, and then some. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen’s first start was the highest-rated television program of the summer as well as the second-highest rated preseason game since 2000, according to Alan Pergament of The Buffalo News.
The Bills-Bengals tilt had a preliminary rating of 25.7. Pergament notes that the 2014 preseason Hall of Fame game, featuring the debut of rookie receiver Sammy Watkins, continues to be the highest rated preseason matchup with an average rating of 26.4.
Surprisingly, the highest ratings were achieved after backup quarterback Nathan Peterman took to the field. The ratings hit a high of 27.9 from 6:15 p.m. through 6:30 p.m., which is about when Peterman was driving down the field for his first score.
We don’t expect similar ratings for Thursday night.