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89 million watched the SB


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That's a huge #. 89 million people.......that's 1/3 of the US population. The game was great and it deserves the amount of viewers that tuned in.



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Fifth most watched TV program EVER.


Super Bowl ratings stay even

By Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY

NEW ORLEANS — New England's stunning Super Bowl victory propelled Fox to a surprising super TV rating Sunday night above the magic number 40. The 40.4 national rating matched last year's rating on CBS, when Baltimore blew out the New York Giants. Fox estimated an audience of 131.7 million, the fifth most-watched TV program. The top four also are Super Bowls.

"Going into this game, with all the press that it would be a blowout, the rating should have been lower," said Jon Mandel of Mediacom ad agency.

"This shows the power of a good sports event on television. Maybe it showed that for the first time in two years that everyone would band together as a nation in front of their TV sets."

Because the tragedies of Sept. 11, the Super Bowl was moved back a week into the February ratings sweeps period. Thus, 50% of Sunday night's programming on competing networks was original compared to 11% for last year's January Super Bowl.

Fox sold out its 9 1/2 hours of Super Bowl day programming for total ad sales topping $200 million. The 60 game ads averaged slightly under $2 million per 30-second spot, said News Corp Sales President Jon Nesvig.

"Given the competition, I think the advertisers got their money's worth with the Super Bowl," said TV consultant Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports. "The Super Bowl is an assured 40 rating. It's appointment viewing."

Boston topped the individual markets with a 56.1 overnight rating. St. Louis posted a 52.4 and host city New Orleans a 51.1. Detroit, near where Patriots Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady starred at the University of Michigan, registered a record 48.9 overnight.

NBC had received considerable publicity with its Fear Factor show spotlighting Playboy Bunnies as halftime competition. But Fox's halftime, featuring a U2 concert, dipped only 4% to a 40.7 rating, less than the normal 5% drop.

"The rating for this game proves again that no single sporting event in this country has the stature of the Super Bowl," said Fox senior vice-president Lou D'Ermilio.

For the third consecutive year, the Super Bowl champions did not appear on ABC's Monday Night Football schedule. Six of the last eight Super Bowl participants were not on the slate for ABC, which has campaigned for a flexible late-season schedule for the networks. Fox and CBS oppose the move.

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