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Prime-time Panthers score with eyeballs

Mark Washburn
Mark Washburn writes television and radio commentary for The Charlotte Observer.

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  • Local Panthers ratings

    Here are TV audience figures for Panthers games in Charlotte this season, on Fox (WJZY, Channel 46):

    Sept. 8: vs. Seahawks (1 p.m. game) – 374,000.

    Sept. 15: vs. Bills (1 p.m.) – 316,000.

    Sept. 22: vs. Giants (1 p.m.) – 382,000.

    Oct. 6: vs. Cardinals (4 p.m.) – 312,000.

    Oct. 13: vs. Vikings (1 p.m.) – 424,000.

    Oct. 20: vs. Rams (1 p.m.) – 403,000.

    Oct. 24: vs. Tampa Bay (8:30 p.m., Thursday) – 287,000.*

    Nov. 3: vs. Falcons (1 p.m.) – 407,000.

    Nov. 10: vs. 49ers (4 p.m.) – 456,000.

    *Carried on the NFL Network and WMYT (Channel 55).

Nearly 650,000 viewers in the region tuned in for Monday night’s Carolina Panthers game against New England, making it the most-watched game of the season in Charlotte.

“This absolutely crushed any previous regular season game this year,” Robert Wendt, research director for WSOC (Channel 9), said Tuesday.

Final overnight ratings from Nielsen showed that in the Charlotte market, 348,000 people on average watched the game on Channel 9 and 309,000 on ESPN.

By comparison, the previously most-watched game to date this season, the Nov. 10 Panthers-49ers match-up, attracted 456,000 viewers.

Nielsen numbers show that 66 percent of household televisions in the 22-county Charlotte market – which stretches from the Virginia line to Chester, S.C. – were tuned to the Monday night game.

It was the first time since 2008 the Panthers appeared in a home game on “Monday Night Football.”

Peak viewing came during the last half of the second quarter, about 9:30 p.m., when the Panthers were up by 7, Wendt said.

ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer said Nielsen data showed that 38 percent of people with televisions in the Charlotte region watched the game and 36 percent in New England.

Elsewhere in the Carolinas, 23 percent of all viewers in Greensboro tuned into the game, 17 percent in Greenville, N.C., and 15 percent in Raleigh-Durham.

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