Should incredible Super Bowl ratings in Boston surprise Pats fans? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Want New Englanders to tune into the Super Bowl? Just make sure Tom Brady is playing.
The 43-year-old quarterback led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55, earning his NFL-record seventh championship and first after two decades with the New England Patriots.
It shouldn't surprise you that plenty of local viewers tuned in Sunday night to watch their former quarterback: Super Bowl LV drew a massive 57.6 household rating in the Boston DMA (designated market area), according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal.
What may surprise you is the context behind that rating.
For starters, more people watched Sunday's game in Boston than in the Bucs' own hometown, as the Tampa DMA drew a 52.3 rating, per Ourand.
And get this: Super Bowl 55 -- a game between the Bucs and the Chiefs -- drew more viewers in Boston than any other Patriots Super bowl except one, according to Ourand. (For example, New England's Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams drew a 57.4 rating in Boston.)
That's a truly remarkable development, and a testament to the region's continued interest in Brady even after he left the Patriots in free agency last March.
It should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic could have helped inflate these numbers, as many fans chose to watch at home rather than gather around one television at a Super Bowl party. The fact that ex-Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski followed Brady to Tampa -- and that the Bucs served as a stand-in for many Bostonians after New England missed the playoffs -- doesn't hurt, either.
But it appears Brady grew his legend so much over two decades with the Patriots that local fans remain invested in his career beyond Foxboro.