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Patriots vs. Cowboys draws highest ratings of any NFL regular-season game the past 12 years

Cowboys, Patriots

The New England Patriots-Dallas Cowboys Week 12 matchup in Foxborough, Mass., drew the NFL’s highest regular-season single-game television rating in the past 12 years, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

The Sunday afternoon game, broadcast on Fox, finished in a four-point win for the AFC East franchise over the Cowboys in a low-scoring affair. The Patriots and Cowboys are two of the NFL’s top franchises in the league in terms of sheer number of fans. After the win, New England is 10-1 on the 2019 season while Dallas continues to struggle, currently at 6-5 before next week’s home game against another AFC opponent in the Buffalo Bills.

Monday’s news about high ratings for the Patriots-Cowboys tilt comes weeks after Thursday Night Football recorded spikes in ratings, including the Green Bay Packers’ September matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, per ProFootballTalk.

Via FOX Sports P.R., the Eagles-Packers game generated an overnight rating of 12, with a share of 23.6. Last year’s game in the same window attracted a 10.7 and 19, respectively. The numbers from Thursday night mean that 12 percent of homes with TVs watched last night’s game, and that 23.6 percent of homes with TVs that actually had the TVs turned on were watching the game.

The NFL’s ratings appear to be climbing after a few past years where chatter signaled concerns with the football league’s overall viewership. However, with the spread of fantasy leagues, legalized gambling, and younger, recognizable stars emerging in the NFL, viewership seems to be rising again at the same time reportedly interest in the NBA, for example, is declining.