The return of Michael Vick wasn't just a hit in the Philadelphia area. It was must-see TV for the entire nation.
The Eagles' 26-24 win on Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts drew a 17.1 national rating which was the highest for a CBS regular season game since the Patriots' win over the Steelers in Week 14 of the 2007 season. The CBS late afternoon slate of games, which featured the Eagles-Colts as the marquee matchup, averaged 27.8 million viewers making it the second-most watched television program since the start of the NFL regular season.
Which program was No. 1? FOX's late afternoon package of games for Week 1, which was highlighted by the Eagles and the Packers, drew an average of 28.0 million viewers making it the most watched television program since the kickoff to the season September.
In the Philadelphia market alone, the Eagles-Colts game drew a 35.7 rating and a 54 share, which means that over half of all the television sets in use were tuned in to the game. That rating is 16 percent higher than the Eagles' Week 9 game from just a year ago when they played the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles had five 4 PM games in 2009 and Sunday's game against the Colts generated a rating 14 percent higher than the average of those games last season.
The only other Eagles game this season that drew a rating in the Philadelphia market as high as the Eagles' win over the Colts was the return of Donovan McNabb with the Washington Redskins in Week 4. Overall, the current average for the Eagles' regular season games is a 28.9 rating in the Philadelphia market. That's five percent higher than the first eight games of the 2009 season (27.5 rating).
And with the rematch between the Eagles and the Redskins set for this Monday night in front of a national audience (ESPN) once again, those ratings should continue to remain strong.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:45 a.m., November 9