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.

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.

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Chaotic game between Steelers, Patriots on Dec. 17
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Chaotic game between Steelers, Patriots on Dec. 17
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers lands awkwardly after being unable to catch a pass in the second quarter during the game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on December 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (29) is stopped by New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts (52) at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) catches a touchdown against the defense of New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) makes a catch against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a first quarter pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) in the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) grabs his leg after suffering an apparent injury against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The Patriots won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis (33) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field.The Patriots won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates a two point conversion in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh Steelers safety Sean Davis (28) looks away at Heinz Field. The Patriots won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) fails to hold the ball as he falls across the goal line against New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) and strong safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The play was ruled an incomplete pass. The Patriots won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) walks from the field during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots defensive back Duron Hamon (30) celebrates a fourth quarter interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Patriots won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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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.

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