A few days ago, Sports Business Daily reported the local television ratings for all 32 teams' local markets. The league average was a 28.5 local rating, which would mean that for any given NFL team, about 28.5% of people in that market were tuned into the game.
Cleveland-Akron ranked 14th on the list with a 29.0, putting them slightly above average. In other words, 29% of people in the Cleveland-Akron area were tuned into Browns games this past season. I imagine that number would have decreased had Brian Hoyer never had the incredible two-game stretch that he did. For what that might have gained in viewership, I'm sure numbers at the end of the season were down, thanks to the team's performance against the likes of the Jets and Steelers.
Here is a list of the Browns' TV ratings for the past three years:
Browns' TV Ratings
Cleveland was one of two teams (along with San Diego) that had no change in viewership from 2012 to 2013. The Saints were the No. 1 team overall, with a massive 52.0 rating. The biggest percentage change in viewership involved the Chiefs, who saw a 41% increase as viewership increased from 30.3 to 42.9. The biggest percentage decline involved the Falcons, who dropped 22% from 25.2 to 19.5.
Here is how the Browns ranked compared to other teams in the AFC North:
AFC North TV Ratings
For a team that has lost as much as the Browns have since 1999, being above the league average is pretty darn good.