Super Bowl Ratings In Hyper-Engaged Local Markets Consistently Outpace National Average


—Ratings in Markets that Represent More Than 60% of the Country Significantly
Exceed National Average for Television's Biggest Annual Event—

—2013 Regular Season Data Confirms Viewers Prefer Watching NFL on Local Broadcast TV—

NEW YORK, February 3, 2014 – TVB (, the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry today released an Analysis of Local Market Connections to Super Bowl and NFL Regular-Season viewing. TVB’s analysis 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 yesterday’s 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”. A full analysis of all local markets in 2014 will be released next month, with early analysis indicating that local market viewing trends for the 2014 Super Bowl are in line with previous years.

Stacey Lynn Schulman, TVB’s Chief Research Officer stated, “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. 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.”

View TVB Analysis

*TVB is projecting the national average rating by applying a factor based on the relationship between the reported Super Bowl national rating to metered market average rating over the past 5 years (metered markets have typically delivered +2.74% higher than the national average). The average metered market rating in 2014 was 47.6.

About TVB

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry. Its members include television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters, associate members and over 500 individual television stations. TVB actively promotes local media marketing solutions to the advertising community, and in so doing works to develop advertising dollars for the medium’s multiple platforms, including on-air, website and mobile. TVB provides a diverse variety of tools and resources, including, to support its members and to help advertisers make the best use of local ad dollars.

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