Indy tops Seattle in Super Bowl TV ratings

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Indianapolis is again proving itself to be a strong football market.

Sunday’s Super Bowl scored a 53.8 rating in the local market, meaning about 577,000 central Indiana households tuned in, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. Three of every four television sets that were on during Sunday’s Super Bowl in this market were tuned to the game airing on NBC, according to Nielsen. The New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in a nail-biter.

Indianapolis posted the eighth highest local rating for this year’s Super Bowl, according to Nielsen. Only the Boston (61), New Orleans (55.7), Phoenix (55.6), Detroit (55), Norfolk (55), Chicago (54.9) and Kansas City (54.5) markets ranked higher than Indianapolis.

Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward called the local rating “pretty amazing for a non-Colts game.”

Strangely, Indianapolis this year scored a higher rating than Seattle, which posted a 52.1. So much for Seattle boasting the best 12th man in the NFL.

This year’s rating was almost the identical rating that the Indianapolis market registered last year when former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was featured with the Denver Broncos. Last year’s rating might have been even higher had the Broncos not got blown out by Seattle.

Fueled by the close outcome the 49th Super Bowl played Sunday in Phoenix earned a record national rating of 49.7, according to Nielsen. The previous record was 48.1 for the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, in which Baltimore beat San Francisco 34-31 on CBS.

Indy’s high rating doesn’t mean more people in Indianapolis watched the game this year than in massive markets like New York and Los Angeles. But it does mean a higher percentage of area residents here watched the game than in those places.

The local Super Bowl rating was far greater than that of this year’s AFC Championship game featuring the Colts and New England two weeks earlier. That game earned a 47.8 (512,420 households) rating in this market, according to Nielsen. Of course, it would have easily been above 50 had the Patriots not obliterated the Colts in the second half.

But this year’s Super Bowl even had a higher rating than the divisional playoff game just three weeks ago featuring the Colts against the Manning-led Broncos. That game earned a 52 rating, according to Nielsen.

Maybe it was the Super Bowl commercials drawing in Indy fans, or perhaps the Katy Perry halftime show.

The all-time high for TV ratings in the Indianapolis market for an NFL game, according to Nielsen, is 56.1 set during the 2007 AFC Championship game, in which the Colts beat the New England Patriots in a tight one. That means about 601,400 households watched the game in this market.

That game scored higher than the Colts 2007 Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears two weeks later. That game, according to Nielsen, earned just under a 56 rating.


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