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This is what I’m thinking:

How influential are the Buffalo Bills in this community?

For one night, it made Channel 7's low-rated Eyewitness News No.1.

The lead-in from the Bills preseason game with Carolina Friday night helped Channel 7 to a rare 11 p.m. victory on Friday night with an 8.1 rating. Channel 2 was second with a 6.8 and Channel 4 third with a 6.1. And it wasn’t a case of people watching at 11 p.m. and then changing the channel at 11:15 p.m. Channel 7 won both the 11 p.m. and 11:15 quarter hours.

I have noticed that the pace of Channel 7's newscast has quickened recently as it has carried more shorter stories. It is a positive step, but I doubt that impacted the Friday rating much, if at all.

The Bills preseason game with Carolina was a rating winner on Channel 7 even if it had only two-thirds of the audience of the nationally-televised preseason opener against the New York Giants.

The Bills’ 20-18 victory in Carolina had a 17.3 rating on WKBW-TV, peaking with a 19.9 rating in the final 15 minutes when the game was being decided.

The Bills’ 17-13 loss to the Giants on Sunday Night Football five nights earlier had a 26.5 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. That was in the range of what some Bills regular season games receive.

I’d expect the second preseason game will have a bigger DVR rating since it was played on a Friday night when people are known to be out more than they are on Sunday, when the first preseason game was played.

Until the final few holes of the PGA championship Sunday were carried in prime time, local viewers weren’t all that interested in Rory McIlroy’s second major victory in a row. The first five hours of coverage on Channel 4 only averaged a 3.2 rating. But the rating grew to a 7.5 at 7 p.m. when “60 Minutes” was scheduled to air and a 9.5 at 8 p.m. when golf delayed “Big Brother.”

Mike Randall isn’t the only meteorologist to make news. Channel 4’s Don Paul recently announced on Facebook that he celebrated his 30th year on the air in Buffalo. For those scoring at home, 27 years have been on Channel 4 and three were on Channel 2. I bet many people don’t remember the years Paul was on Channel 2. They were 1988-91. Channel 4’s Don Postles also anchored on Channel 2 at one time and was once considered the heir apparent to Irv Weinstein at Channel 7 when Postles anchored there.

apergament@buffnews.com