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Patriots – Giants game most watched television broadcast in U.S. history


(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is lifted in the air by his teammates Logan Mankins (70) and Russ Hochstein, left, after Brady threw a 65-yard touchdown to Randy Moss in the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007. Brady broke the single-season record with his 50th touchdown pass and Moss broke the single season-record with his 23rd touchdown reception on the play.

By Sam Evans, Associated Pass Writer

The numbers are in and the preliminary ratings indicate the 29 December 2007 game between the Patriots and Giants was the most watched broadcast in U.S. television history.

Up to this point, the most watched program in U.S. television history was the M*A*S*H series finale: “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” which aired in 50.15 million households on 28 February, 1983 with a 77% share of the entire viewing audience. The M*A*S*H broadcast had 105.9 million total viewers. Since 2000, the most watched program was Super Bowl XLI Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears), which had 93.1 million million viewers on 4 February, 2007 .

Overnight ratings of the Patriots-Giants game show 53.2 million households watched the game. In addition, Nielsen Media Research is reporting overnight viewers totaled more than 107.3 million on the three networks broadcasting the game (NFL Network, NBC, CBS) and an 83% share of the total television viewing audience.

After weeks of insisting they wouldn’t cave in, NFL officials did just that Wednesday. As a result, all of America saw the Patriots’ make history. Saturday night’s game between New England and the New York Giants on the NFL Network, was also simulcast nationwide on CBS and NBC. It was the first time in NFL history the same game was broadcast on three separate networks at the same time.

The game itself also set several NFL records. Tom Brady and Randy Moss set single-season records for touchdown passes and TD catches, respectively, Saturday night when the New England Patriots stars combined on a 65-yard scoring pass play in the fourth quarter.

The play gave Brady 50 TD passes for the season, breaking Peyton Manning’s 2004 record of 49. Moss now has 23 catches, breaking the mark of Jerry Rice, who did it in 12 games during a strike-marred 1987 season.

The play and subsequent two-point conversion gave the Patriots a 31-28 fourth-quarter lead over the New York Giants and a record 582 points for the season. The old mark was 556 by the 1998 Vikings.

Brady and Moss earlier combined on a 4-yard touchdown pass. On the second one, Brady ran past safety James Butler, who seemed to reinjure a hamstring on the play. Moss caught the ball and trotted into the end zone. The New England Patriots finished the regular season 16-0 with a 38-35 win in East Rutherford, N.J.


December 29, 2007 - Posted by | Current Events, News, Sports, Television | , , ,


  1. Yea the was the closest game ever!

    Comment by dannyman28clubpenguin | December 30, 2007 | Reply

  2. The NFL Network definitely did the right thing. I’m shocked that it got these kinds of ratings. Here are my thoughts prior to the game:

    Comment by Brett | December 30, 2007 | Reply

  3. Go Patriots!

    Comment by red jello | December 30, 2007 | Reply

  4. Everyone wants to see history. American love records.
    Also the game was very close! Everyone thought the Giants would rest everyone but they really tried to prevent history. We’ll see how well they does them next week in the playoffs.

    Comment by degenerasian | December 30, 2007 | Reply

  5. Wow, that is pretty amazing. Good for them. It was a close game and they made history with so many records. Hoping they can go al the way. And while I live in Los Angeles (Pasadena), I can only imagine how great it must be to be a New England & Boston fan right now. Awesome. On a further note, many other friends that are Browns, and other contention fans, say, part of them, while wanting “their” team to win it all, want to see the “New England Patriots” go all the way. Now that my friends, are real NFL fans as I suppose “as” a fan, one may never see something like this again. Ever.

    Go New England and Company (Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots).


    Comment by frankii | December 30, 2007 | Reply

  6. 34.5 million viewers. Not 100+ million.

    Comment by Chris | December 31, 2007 | Reply

  7. Anyone ever hear of “Dewey beats Truman” people get facts wrong all the time

    Comment by Jack | December 31, 2007 | Reply

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