When Tom Brady announced his departure from the New England Patriots last offseason, he penned a note with the title “Forever a Patriot.” And even though he is now starting at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this sentiment still holds some truth.
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, the rating of the Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory in Boston was a 57.6. While the circumstances may have contributed to this market share — from the weather situation to the Coronavirus — it still is an impressive one, and a testament to how popular Brady still is in the New England region.
The nationwide comparison shows this as well. The game had a higher rating than Boston’s in only one major market across the country, for example: the Super Bowl had a share of 59.9 in Kansas City. For comparison, it “only” reached a 52.3 in Brady’s new home market of Tampa.
Brady’s record-extending 10th Super Bowl appearance was not just a popular draw in Boston compared to other markets, but also from a historical perspective. Only one of the Patriots’ previous nine title games with Brady as the starting quarterback accomplished a higher rating: New England’s Super Bowl 49 victory over the Seattle Seahawks checked in at 61.
In total, the shares of the Patriots’ Super Bowl appearances of the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era look like this:
- Super Bowl 49 (Seattle Seahawks): 61
- Super Bowl 53 (Los Angeles Rams): 57.4
- Super Bowl 46 (New York Giants): 56.7
- Super Bowl 36 (St. Louis Rams): 56.1
- Super Bowl 52 (Philadelphia Eagles): 55.9
- Super Bowl 42 (New York Giants): 55.6
- Super Bowl 51 (Atlanta Falcons): 54.3
- Super Bowl 39 (Philadelphia Eagles): 53.1
- Super Bowl 38 (Carolina Panthers): 52.2
As noted above, however, the numbers do not show the entire picture. The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact — from people neither going to bars nor hosting Super Bowl parties at home — certainly contributed to the high share. That being said, the increase from last year’s numbers is still notable.
Kansas City’s Super Bowl 54 victory over the San Francisco 49ers drew a 50.9 rating in Boston last year, meaning that there was a 6.7 percent viewership increase for Buccaneers-Chiefs on Sunday. The environment outlined above contributed, sure, but other markets did still not see that big a rise: Kansas City registered a +4.2, while New York had a +0.5.