KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The draw of Patrick Mahomes starting at quarterback to kickoff the 2018 season proved an alluring attraction for Chiefs' fans, with nearly the same number of viewers tuning in for this year's kickoff compared to last year's primetime opener against New England.
Kansas City also ranked as the third-best local market in Week 1 for CBS.
The late Sunday afternoon kickoff averaged a 35.3 rating, according to numbers compiled from Nielsen tracking data. That compares to a 35.5 rating for last season's Thursday night opener against the Patriots. The rating is a tracking of the percentage of television households in the metropolitan area tuned to the game.
The Chargers game drew a 59 share, which measures the percentage of TVs turned on and tuned to the game. Last year's opener versus the Patriots drew a 55 share.
Only Pittsburgh (43.4 rating/70 share) and Cleveland (39.5/62) posted higher local ratings for CBS than Kansas City. Buffalo (34.6/60) and Boston (34.4/68) rounded out the top five on CBS.
The ratings for the Chiefs elsewhere in Missouri, however, did not fare as well. The Chiefs-Chargers game drew a 5.4 rating in St. Louis, where it was bested by the Dallas-Carolina game with an 8.5 rating, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Of the seven NFL games air in St. Louis in Week 1, the Chiefs game only beat the New York Jets-Detroit Monday game with a 4.4 rating.
The regional singleheader game on CBS posted the network's best opening NFL weekend in three years. The network drew an overall rating of 10.6 and 22 share, up 23 percent from 2017.
The CBS game posted the best ratings gain for opening weekend. The late afternoon game on Fox posted a 2 percent gain from last year while the early Fox game saw an 11 percent jump.
The other four NFL broadcast windows all saw modest declines from a year ago, ranging from a 3 percent fall for the second game of the Monday Night Football doubleheader to a 13 percent drop for the Thursday night season kickoff game.
Overall, NFL ratings rose 1 percent in Week 1 compared to a year ago, which an average rating of 9.4 and 16.3 million viewers. Week 1 in 2017 posted a rating of 9.3 and also averaged 16.3 million viewers.