Super Bowl ratings in local markets outpaces cable


TVB / Television Bureau of Advertising

TVB released an Analysis of Local Market Connections to Super Bowl and NFL Regular-Season viewing. It confirms that while the Super Bowl is very much a national event, local market viewership in many markets (beyond that of the home teams and host city) consistently outpaces the national average viewing levels.

For the big game, the average broadcast rating for the home-team markets of Seattle and Denver, exceeded TVB’s projected national average (46.3) by 22% and 11%, respectively. Additionally, the game’s host market, New York, saw ratings that exceeded the national average by +9%. Similar outperformance to the national (metered market) average was reported for adjoining markets and what TVB has termed “perennial Super Bowl markets.”

Said Stacey Lynn Schulman, TVB’s Chief Research Officer: “The Super Bowl is often considered the domain of national marketers with national-sized budgets. This research supports the investments that local and regional advertisers make with local Super Bowl affiliate stations to reach consumers when they are the most passionate. It’s not just about the key cities – the hometowns of the contenders and the host stadium. Hyper-engaged football fans can be found in local markets that reach as much as 63% of the United States on Super Bowl Sunday.”

“Local broadcast television’s unique connection with NFL viewers was further confirmed throughout the 2013 regular season, as home market NFL viewers overwhelmingly preferred their local broadcast stations to national cable as their game day destination,” says TVB. “When cable networks ESPN and NFLN host a nationwide presentation of an NFL football game, they are required to provide a live feed of that game to each team’s respective local broadcast TV station partner. In the 32 markets where a regular season game was simultaneously offered on both a local TV station and one of the cable nets, the average household broadcast rating exceeded the cable network rating by 75% (based on a TVB analysis of Nielsen Media Research Household data 9/9/13 – 12/26/13). Local market simulcasts of NFL games occurred 60 times during the 2013 regular season, with local broadcast stations attracting as much as 589 times the game day household viewers compared with the cable networks.”

The top 5 markets where NFL household ratings on local TV stations exceeded simulcast games on the cable networks were: Cleveland/Browns (+489% higher TV station ratings than cable); Kansas City/Chiefs (+439%); Boston/Patriots (+248%); Nashville/Titans (+202%); and, Denver/Broncos (+176%).

Steve Lanzano, President & CEO, TVB added, “Ratings data consistently confirms that local broadcast television is the driving force of NFL viewership and that football fans prefer to watch their teams on their local hometown TV stations. This leads to larger local broadcast football viewing audiences than cable networks year after year. When it comes to NFL football, local broadcast television provides a significant home team advantage to marketers seeking to optimize the reach of their brand promotion. Local broadcast television’s leading news viewership and daily programming ratings combined with its ability to garner enormous audiences for special live programming such as the Super Bowl make it the obvious choice for brand managers seeking a reliable, proven marketing solution with unrivalled consumer influence.”