Luck-led Colts could eclipse Manning-era TV ratings

September 23, 2013
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As expectations for this year’s Indianapolis Colts rise, so too do the local television ratings for the team’s games.
They’re considerably higher than they were last year and as momentum builds could even eclipse ratings seen during Peyton Manning’s heyday here. Of course, where the ratings fall the remainder of this season will be heavily dependent on the team’s ability to continue winning. Still it would have been difficult to imagine two years ago that a Colts team led by any other quarterback besides Manning could generate these types of viewership numbers in this market. But Colts second-year signal caller Andrew Luck isn't your ordinary QB.

During the team’s opener against Oakland, the Colts game scored a 38.3 rating in the Indianapolis market. That means about 411,000 central Indiana households tuned in. That’s up considerably from the Colts 2012 season opener, which tallied a 32.3 rating, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. A nearly 20 percent rating increase is impressive for any TV program, but when the ratings are already sky high, it’s even more impressive.

Week two this year, a loss against Miami, was a 35.4 rating, according to Nielsen. While that’s down a bit from the 2013 opener, a win against Oakland, it’s still up considerably from last year’s week two game, which scored a 32.8 rating.

And when the team played its first 4:25 p.m. kickoff against San Francisco on Sunday, the market watched en masse. Games played later in the afternoon or evening tend to score better ratings than games played earlier in the afternoon, when some folks are out and about. The Colts week three game earned a 39 (overnight) rating, with more than 60 percent of all TV sets on at the time of the game tuned in to watch the Colts beat the defending NFC champion 49ers 27-7.

Next week’s game at Jacksonville could see a slight decline from ratings earned earlier this year. It’s a 1 p.m. kickoff, and unless Jacksonville signs Tim Tebow before Sunday’s game, the Jaguars don’t offer the most compelling storylines.

The next four Colts games after that, however, could be blockbusters. While week five also brings a 1 p.m. kickoff, the game is against NFC powerhouse Seattle.

Then comes a trio of prime-time games. Week six has the Colts playing at San Diego on Monday night.

Week seven is the game everybody is waiting for, a Sunday night match-up at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos. After a bye week, the Colts come back for another Sunday night game against the division rival Houston Texans.   


  • More interesting Colts TV ratings info
    Nielsen just released its "final" ratings for Sunday's Colts game vs SF. It was 40.2 for the central Indiana (Indianapolis) market. That's a 16 percent increase from week 3 one year ago, and 31 percent higher than the average rating for all Week 3 Colts games since 1998 (30.6). Sunday's game is the second highest-rated Week 3 Colts game in Indy since 1998, the highest being a 40.7 in 2011 (a 20-23 loss vs. PIT).
    • ONLY 40.2 ?
      Watching Colts games is a Sunday tradition in our neighborhood (unless it is a home game, in which several of us go). Yesterday we could hear yells and cheers all the way down our street. :)
      • ratings
        With so many fans watching at bars and restaurants, the rating is probably not completely accurate (we go to Champps). If all those people watched at home, the tv rating would be even higher. Same with home games. If the 60,000 at the game stayed home, the rating would most likely spike higher. Make sense?

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      1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

      2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

      3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

      4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

      5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?