Peyton-loving Indy outscores Denver in Super Bowl viewership

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Companies like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance which bought ads airing regionally in the Indy market during Sunday’s Super Bowl were not disappointed by the reach of those ads.

Indianapolis had the fifth highest television rating of any U.S. market for the big game, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research.

The game, which aired starting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS, scored a 54.6 rating in the Indianapolis market. That means 586,000 households—nearly 55 percent of all households—tuned in, according to Nielsen.  

The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Sunday’s game.

Surprisingly, the Indianapolis rating was higher than Denver, which registered a 53.9 rating and only slightly lower than Charlotte, North Carolina, which tallied a 55.9, according to Nielsen.

“Chalk it up to Peyton,” said Indianapolis Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward. “Our local Super Bowl ratings are usually among the highest [in the nation] just not this high.”

Peyton of course is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Before playing four seasons in Denver, Manning spent 13 years [not including one he sat out with a neck injury] as quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

Indianapolis has long had a special affinity for Manning, arguably the greatest quarterback ever to don a Colts jersey. Local viewing numbers were likely driven even higher by speculation that Sunday’s Super Bowl would be No. 18’s last NFL game.

Nationwide, Sunday’s Superbowl—the NFL’s 50th—earned a 49 rating, according to Nielsen. That means 111.9 million Americans watched the game, the third most behind the 2015 [114.4 million] and 2014 [112.2 million] Super Bowls.


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