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What NFL teams have highest, lowest TV share in their markets? Hint all are recent Super Bowl winners

NFL TV ratings are huge. Period, end of sentence.

However, in some markets, they are bigger than others. The ratings, specifically “share,” provide a good barometer to gauge the fan intensity for the home team.

And the verdict from last week’s games?

No. 1: Saints and Steelers tied.

Bottom of the list: Giants in New York.

Below is a chart sent out by Dan Masonson of the NFL for week 12; it doesn’t include the Philadelphia-Carolina game on Monday. Also, there were blackouts in San Diego and Tampa Bay.

First some Ratings 101 on the terminology from Masonson:

Rating is % of TV homes in that market tuned into the game.

Share is % of TV homes in that market with TV ”physically tuned” into the game.

Understand?

Market size comes into play when determining total viewers for the home team. Again from Masonson:

Giants average 17.7 local rating this season translating to 1.3 million TV homes tuned in per game.

Saints average a league high 47.4 local rating translating to 304,000 TV homes tuned in per game.

New York is the largest market in the U.S.; New Orleans is No. 52. That accounts for the difference in the total number of viewers. Thanks to market size, Masonson says the Giants, Jets and Bears have the highest viewership each week.

For the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to use “share” as the barometer for gauging passion for the home team. It tells me if the home team is playing, what percentage of TVs that are physically turned on are tuned to the game?

In New Orleans and Pittsburgh, each town had an astounding 69 share. That means 7 of 10 TVs in use in those towns watched the Saints and Steelers last Sunday. What were those three other TVs watching?

Denver was right behind with a 68 share.

All told, there were nine markets with a 60 share or above, and that includes Kansas City. Despite a horrid season, the Chiefs still pulled a 60 share. Now that means their fans are either incredibly loyal or gluttons for punishment.

Again, those numbers attest to the amazing popularity of the NFL.

On the low end, the list shows New York did a 28 share for the Giants-Packers game on Sunday night. That means only 3 out of 10 TVs in use in New York saw the Giants chase around Aaron Rodgers.

To me, that number seems low since this was a must game against Green Bay However, New York isn’t a typical market. For starters, loyalties are split between the Giants and Jets, even if Jets fans aren’t showing their allegiances these days. The city doesn’t rally around one team.

Also, New York is so big and diverse, and there are so many things to do. Watching a football game often isn’t high on the priority list.

By contrast, smaller markets tend to identify more with their teams. In Pittsburgh, it’s all about the Steelers, and in New Orleans, life resolves around the Saints.

Anyway, it’s just a one-week snapshot. There’s common denominator: A NFL game ranked first for the most watched program of any kind in each market in week 12.

Week of 11/19-25  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

New Orleans 49ers at Saints

11/25/2012

51.3

69

1

Milwaukee Packers at Giants

11/25/2012

43.8

61

1

Pittsburgh Steelers at Browns

11/25/2012

41.2

69

1

Baltimore Ravens at Chargers

11/25/2012

37.9

54

1

Indianapolis Bills at Colts

11/25/2012

36.2

60

1

Boston Patriots at Jets

11/22/2012

34.9

61

1

Denver Broncos at Chiefs

11/25/2012

34.4

68

1

Cleveland Steelers at Browns

11/25/2012

34.2

62

1

Kansas City Broncos at Chiefs

11/25/2012

32.3

60

1

Minneapolis Vikings at Bears

11/25/2012

31.7

63

1

Buffalo Bills at Colts

11/25/2012

30.7

51

1

Chicago Vikings at Bears

11/25/2012

29.9

58

1

Seattle Seahawks at Dolphins

11/25/2012

27.1

56

1

Detroit Texans at Lions

11/22/2012

27.0

57

1

Houston Texans at Lions

11/22/2012

26.5

61

1

Dallas Redskins at Cowboys

11/22/2012

24.7

56

1

Atlanta Falcons at Bucs

11/25/2012

24.3

44

1

San Fran-Oakland 49ers at Saints

11/25/2012

22.7

53

1

St. Louis Rams at Cardinals

11/25/2012

22.6

38

1

Washington, DC Redskins at Cowboys

11/22/2012

22.4

62

1

Phoenix Rams at Cardinals

11/25/2012

22.2

44

1

Nashville Titans at Jaguars

11/25/2012

22.0

38

1

New York Packers at Giants

11/25/2012

18.9

28

1

Cincinnati Raiders at Bengals

11/25/2012

16.9

32

1

Charlotte 49ers at Saints

11/25/2012

17.7

29

1

San Diego Texans at Lions

11/22/2012

16.6

36

1

Tampa 49ers at Saints

11/25/2012

15.8

27

1

Philadelphia Texans at Lions

11/22/2012

15.6

37

1

Miami Seahawks at Dolphins

11/25/2012

15.0

33

1

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company

One thought on “What NFL teams have highest, lowest TV share in their markets? Hint all are recent Super Bowl winners

  1. Good analysis. Small market teams have a built in advantage when it comes to ratings share just by being smaller. Their populations tend to be more homogenous and, as mentioned in the article, there tend to be far fewer distractions. On a Wednesday night in New York in the dead of winter there is still ten times more to do than on a beautiful late-spring Saturday evening in a Pittsburgh or Cleveland, etc. New Orleans is obviously a party town with plenty of distractions but locals stay mostly at home or their cozier corner bars while the tourist jam pack the French Quarter.

    Another good method for judging the quality of a team/city’s fans, other than the more customary TV ratings, attendance or merchandising sales, is taking a local at internet search terms through Google trends. Plug in the simple phrase ‘NFL’ and you’ll get the top-ten things that term applies to most frequently. Then check and see what states, cities and regions have the highest per-capita frequency. Some surprises may pop up here and there but for the most part the usual suspects are at or near the top of the list…Philly, NYC, Balt, Pitt, NOLA, KC, Denver, etc.

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