Monday, February 04, 2008

Super (Bowl) Ratings

Sunday's Super Bowl delivered the perfect formula for the NFL: Close game + compelling stories = monster ratings.

The Nielsen numbers are in on the Patriots-Giants Super Bowl and they are huge. With more than 97 million viewers, it's the most-watched Super Bowl ever and the second-most-watched show in TV history, trailing only the last episode of M*A*S*H*. The game also had a strong 37.6 rating in the adult demographic.

The dramatic ending, with the Giants scoring the winning touchdown with less than a minute to play, obviously helped. The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter, which had never happened in a Super Bowl before. But don't underestimate the strong storylines, including the Patriots going for a perfect season, the Giants Eli Manning trying to carry on the family tradition, and the last minute (re)controversy over "Spygate." The game also got a boost in that most competitors went with fairly bland counterprogramming.

To be honest, I didn't think the game would pull those kinds of numbers, especially given the Super Bowl ratings for the past decade. In fact, you could describe the game as rather dull after three quarters of play. But as we've said in this forum several times over the months, the NFL has the Midas touch.


Blogger SportMediaDope said...

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1:09 PM  

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