The Real Reason It’s The “Super” Bowl

Categories: TV Ratings Reference

Written By

January 21st, 2008

012108superbowlviewers.gif

Not only is the Super Bowl the most watched event in American sports, except for the Daytona 500, it's the only one with consistently increasing ratings among the major sports championships.

With the Patriots going for 19-0, and the NY Giants in the game for the first time since 2000, it's hardly going out on a limb to predict record ratings for the 2008 Super Bowl.

 
  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Market size of participating teams doesn't work with sports the way it works with Desperate Housewives. The markets matter for Desperate Housewives, but only *sometimes* in terms of sports. If the LA Dodgers get in the World Series — it's a HUGE deal ratings wise. But if the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim get there — no, no ratings bump.

    It's the same here. The NFL did NOT get the matchup it was salivating for. While it's in no way going out on a limb to predict record ratings (due to the Patriots historic quest) –the ratings likely would have been higher with “small market” Green Bay and Brett Favre vs. Tom Brady than “HUGE market” NY, and Eli Manning.

    The frozen tundra certainly did look cool in HD, But yesterday,it was Green Bay and Favre who looked old and cold.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Hmmmm chance viewers will be over 100 million? Surely the historic quest of the Golden Boy can squeeze an additional 10 million viewers or so? I'll go 100%

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    I think the Super Bowl is so universal, any factors moving the ratings are pretty minor.

    I think the Pats try for 19-0 would be a bigger influence than a Favre-Brady matchup, but either is small, maybe a few percent.

    The fact that NY as a TV market is in the game is likely an even smaller influence. There will be more viewers than if it had been Tampa Bay, but not significantly.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    The 2007 viewership was 93.184m, so I'd say that 100m is well within reach.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Really? Tampa Bay vs. Oakland (2003) had more viewers than NY vs. Baltimore (2001). OK, that was Baltimore, but still. There's no statistical historical basis for predicting that there will be more viewers because it's NY than TB. In fact, St. Lous (small television market) vs. Tennessee (smaller television market) in 2002 had more viewers than NY vs. Balt.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Indeed. As I said, I think the effect is likely small, much less important than many other factors.

    I have no real analysis to back up TV market influence on the Super Bowl ratings [just as you have none to prove the counter argument].

    It just seems logical to me that the marginal viewer in a market that is involved in the game would be more inclined to watch and there are many more marginal viewers in NY than in TB.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Market size of participating teams doesn’t work with sports the way it works with Desperate Housewives. The markets matter for Desperate Housewives, but only *sometimes* in terms of sports. If the LA Dodgers get in the World Series — it’s a HUGE deal ratings wise. But if the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim get there — no, no ratings bump.

    It’s the same here. The NFL did NOT get the matchup it was salivating for. While it’s in no way going out on a limb to predict record ratings (due to the Patriots historic quest) –the ratings likely would have been higher with “small market” Green Bay and Brett Favre vs. Tom Brady than “HUGE market” NY, and Eli Manning.

    The frozen tundra certainly did look cool in HD, But yesterday,it was Green Bay and Favre who looked old and cold.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Hmmmm chance viewers will be over 100 million? Surely the historic quest of the Golden Boy can squeeze an additional 10 million viewers or so? I’ll go 100%

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    I think the Super Bowl is so universal, any factors moving the ratings are pretty minor.

    I think the Pats try for 19-0 would be a bigger influence than a Favre-Brady matchup, but either is small, maybe a few percent.

    The fact that NY as a TV market is in the game is likely an even smaller influence. There will be more viewers than if it had been Tampa Bay, but not significantly.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    The 2007 viewership was 93.184m, so I’d say that 100m is well within reach.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Really? Tampa Bay vs. Oakland (2003) had more viewers than NY vs. Baltimore (2001). OK, that was Baltimore, but still. There’s no statistical historical basis for predicting that there will be more viewers because it’s NY than TB. In fact, St. Lous (small television market) vs. Tennessee (smaller television market) in 2002 had more viewers than NY vs. Balt.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Indeed. As I said, I think the effect is likely small, much less important than many other factors.

    I have no real analysis to back up TV market influence on the Super Bowl ratings [just as you have none to prove the counter argument].

    It just seems logical to me that the marginal viewer in a market that is involved in the game would be more inclined to watch and there are many more marginal viewers in NY than in TB.

  • Rena Moretti

    Your very interesting graph also illustrates why the networks love it that Nielsen (and the press) has gone from reporting ratings to reporting viewers.

    The reason? The population is expanding quite rapidly, making the number of viewers potentially higher each year.

    I wonder what this graph would look like in ratings points.

  • Rena Moretti

    Your very interesting graph also illustrates why the networks love it that Nielsen (and the press) has gone from reporting ratings to reporting viewers.

    The reason? The population is expanding quite rapidly, making the number of viewers potentially higher each year.

    I wonder what this graph would look like in ratings points.

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures