NFL TV ratings: Patriots-Steelers was most-watched game of the season

Bad news for anyone hoping for the NFL’s demise: Sunday’s New England Patriots-Pittsburgh Steelers thriller was the most-watched game of the 2017 season.

CBS Sports’ PR group tweeted that the game, a 27-24 Patriots win that wasn’t without its share of controversial and exciting moments, had an overnight rating of 17.0, which makes it the highest-rated game on any network this year.

New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon, center, celebrates his game-sealing end zone interception of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday. (AP)

The broadcast also had a 32 share, meaning 32 percent of televisions in use during the game’s window – it began at 4:25 p.m. ET – were tuned to CBS for the game.

The 17.0 rating is an 8 percent increase over the comparable game during Week 15 last year, which was New England vs. Denver.

Not surprisingly, CBS said viewership peaked in the 7-7:30 p.m. ET window, as the game was concluding: for that half-hour, it had a 20.5 rating and 36 share.

Patriots-Steelers was the most-watched regular-season game on CBS since 2015. On Nov. 15, 2015, “The NFL on CBS” drew an 18.3 rating and 32 share for New England-New York Giants and Chiefs-Broncos.