New England Patriots

Fueled by the 2018 preseason debut of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and a rematch of last year’s thrilling Super Bowl LII showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles, New England tuned into Thursday’s preseason head-to-head at a summer-best rate.

Broadcast on WBZ, and with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call, the broadcast of Thursday’s Eagles-Patriots game was the most-watched event of the summer, with more viewers than the highest-rated Red Sox-Yankees game of the summer, the World Cup Final, Game 4 of the NBA Finals and the MLB All-Star Game.

In a combined total of WBZ-CBS and WMUR-ABC stations in the Boston (Manchester) DMA, the game delivered a 17.8 household rating, 33 market share and averaged 599,400 viewers. By comparison, ratings were 48 percent higher than last year’s Week 2 numbers, a Saturday night matchup with the Houston Texans. Ratings peaked at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday night with a 21.9 household rating, 38 market share and 761,400 viewers in the combined DMA.

Thursday’s broadcast generated a local household rating of 14.6 in Boston, which is the highest rating for a Patriots Week 2 preseason game since 2013. It also finished as the week’s top-rated program in the Boston market with 483,500 viewers.

As mentioned, that viewer count was higher than Aug. 2’s Red Sox-Yankees game (370.9 thousand viewers), France against Croatia (291.5 thousand viewers), Game 4 between the Cavaliers and Warriors (262 thousand viewers), and the 240.3 thousand viewers that tuned into the 2018 MLB All-Star Game (which featured countless Red Sox players).