Sunday’s Patriots/Cowboys game garnered the following numbers on the local CBS affiliate, WBZ-TV:

HHs = 36 rating / 60 share

P25-54 = 23.6 R / 61 S
F25-54 = 16.7 R / 49 S
M25-54 = 30.8 R / 70 S

P18-49 = 20.4 R / 60 S
F18-49 = 14.6 R / 50 S
M18-49 = 26.4 R / 68 S

P18-34 = 15.7 R / 59 S
F18-34 = 11.6 R / 48 S
M18-34 = 19.7 R / 67 S

Nationally, the game set records for CBS, which achieved a rating/share of 18.5/35, the highest rating in the metered markets for a regular-season NFL ON CBS game since CBS re-acquired the NFL in 1998. The previous high for a regular-season NFL ON CBS game was a 16.9/33 on December 6, 1998 when Denver extended its unbeaten record to 13-0, defeating Kansas City by a score 35-31.

The game Patriots/Cowboys game attracted 29.1 million viewers nationally, making it the most-watched NFL regular-season game on a Sunday since November 10, 1996 when 29.7 million viewers watched the Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers game (FOX).

THE NFL ON CBS’s rating/share of 18.5/35 also is the highest-rated NFL regular-season game-to-date in the 2007 season on any network and the highest overall for a regular- season NFL game since a 19.1/35 (FOX; 12/3/06) when Dallas beat the New York Giants 23-20 on a last-second field goal.

The rating/share for the Patriots-Cowboys game peaked with a 21.0/36 between 7:30-7:45 PM, ET and also delivered a rating/share of 20.3/36 between 7:00-7:30 PM, ET.

The New England-Dallas game is the most-watched program so far for the 2007-08 television season and attracted the most viewers of any program since the finale of “American Idol” (31.2 million; May 23, 2007; 8:00-10:09 PM).

You knew this was coming this week:


This issue of SI also looks at the Red Sox/Indians series, with the follow observation from writer Tom Verducci:

Indeed, a major shift in the outlook of Red Sox Nation was evident at the start of the American League Championship Series against Cleveland, when Boston found itself in a position unknown to the franchise since Babe Ruth last wore the uniform in 1918: the clear-cut team to beat. After winning a division title for the first time in 12 years, racking up the most wins in baseball (96, tied with Cleveland) for the first time in 61 years and rolling to three straight postseason wins over the Los Angeles Angels by a combined score of 19-4, with sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez basically kicking sand in the face of any pitcher who dared get in their way (they would reach base 33 times in their first 44 tries this October), Boston looked every bit the heavy.

But just when the Nation looked to be swimming in milk and honey last Saturday night — having won Game 1 10-3, Boston was 12 outs away from another victory as it pursued its second pennant in four seasons — the Indians restored some old-time angst to Boston and some much-needed tension to a too-placid postseason. Cleveland scratched out the tying run in the sixth inning and later, with seven runs in the 11th, turned an extra-inning game into a blowout win, 13-6. For the first time in six series tries this postseason a team would not jump out to a two-games-to-none lead. That momentum carried over to Monday’s Game 3 in Cleveland, where the Indians held off Boston 4-2.