What small markets?
Thanks to exciting game, viewership up from last year
Posted: Monday January 31, 2000 06:09 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Small markets don't hurt Super Bowl ratings -- especially when the game goes down to the final play.
St. Louis' stirring 23-16 victory over Tennessee on Sunday night drew a 43.2 rating and a 62 share on ABC, up 7 percent from last year. That makes it the 19th-highest rated among the 34 Super Bowls.
Last year's game, Denver's 34-19 win over Atlanta, received a 40.2 rating and 61 share, the lowest rating since the 1990 game registered a 39.0 rating.
ABC estimated 130,745,000 people watched the game, making it the fifth most-watched telecast in U.S. history, trailing four other Super Bowls. Last year's game, broadcast by Fox, was watched by 127.5 million.
The No. 1 program was the 1996 Super Bowl between Dallas and Pittsburgh, watched by 138.5 million. Sunday's game pushed the final episode of "M-A-S-H," broadcast by CBS on Feb. 28, 1983, and watched by 121.6 million, out of the top 10 list, which now includes nine Super Bowls and the women's skating final of the 1994 Winter Olympics.
With two small markets, ABC said last week it hoped for a 42.0 rating, but the close games caused ratings to grow throughout the night.
When the game began at 6:26 p.m. EST, it had a 39.0 rating and 61 share, which grew to 41.4/64 from 6:30-7 p.m., 42.7/64 from 7-7:30 p.m. and 43.5/64 from 7:30-8 p.m.
The halftime show got a 40.8/48 in the next half hour, and the second half began with a 43.9/62 from 8:30-9 p.m. That was followed by a 44.2/62 and a 46.9/65 for the final half hour, which included Kurt Warner's 73-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce and Mike Jones' tackle of Kevin Dyson at the 1 as time ran out.
The rating for the final half hour was up 21 percent from the 38.9 for the final half hour last year.
In St. Louis, the game produced a 55.6 rating and 78 share, and in Nashville, Tenn., it drew a 50.3/67.
In Houston, the Titans' home when the team was the Oilers, the game got a 47.0 rating and 67 share. In Los Angeles, the former home of the Rams, it got a 38.7/64.
In New York, the game got a 39.6 rating and 54 share.
The rating is the percentage of television households watching a telecast, and each point represents 1,008,000 homes. The share is the percentage tuned in among those televisions on at the time.
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