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Game's TV Audience Second-Best

January 28, 2003|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Despite a lack of drama, 137,652,000 viewers watched all or part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, making it the second-most-watched Super Bowl game.

Only the 1996 Super Bowl attracted more viewers, 138,500,000. In that game, televised by NBC, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17, at Tempe, Ariz., for their third Super Bowl victory in four seasons.

ABC announced early Monday that Sunday's game in San Diego got an overnight rating of 43.8 with a share of 62, and later in the day the network announced that the "fast" national rating was a 40.7 with a 61 share.

An overnight rating covers the nation's 55 largest markets and a "fast" national rating is a preliminary number. Final national numbers won't be available until today, but an ABC spokesman said they were not expected to change.

San Diego was the country's highest-rated market with a 53.9/81, and Tampa, Fla., was second with a 52.7/71.

The 53.9 for San Diego was that market's highest for a Super Bowl, beating the 53.1 for 1998, when Denver defeated Green Bay, 31-24.

For Sunday's game, Los Angeles ranked 30th among major markets and ahead of 10 NFL cities with a 43.3/71. It is estimated that the L.A. market drew 4.6-million viewers.

The Bay Area had only the eighth-highest rating with a 49.1/79.

If the 40.7 holds up as expected, Sunday's Super Bowl will be the highest rated since the 2000 game between St. Louis and Tennessee drew a 43.2. The last two Super Bowls each had a 40.4

Sunday's rating peaked at 41.5 between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. It then dipped to 40.1 from 5-5:30 before going back up to 41.3 from 5:30-6 and then finishing at 40.6 from 6-6:30.

The highest-rated demographic group was men 25-54. The rating for that group was a 44.2. For men and women 25-54, the rating was a 38.4.

A rating represents a percentage of all television households and a share represents a percentage of households where television is being watched.

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*--* City Watch Top 10 cities to watch Super Bowl XXXVII: City Rating Share San Diego 53.9 81 Tampa, Fla 52.7 71 Pittsburgh 51.5 67 Denver 50.8 75 Buffalo 49.8 65 Orlando 49.7 66 S.F./Oakland 49.1 79 Sacramento 48.3 69 Kansas City 48.2 68 Detroit 48.2 67

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*--* TV Ratings Super Bowl television ratings and shares, including network (both NBC and CBS televised the first Super Bowl). The rating represents the percentage of televisions tuned in to a program. The share is the percentage of televisions on at the time. In order of rating: Year Network Rating Share 1982 CBS 49.1 73 1983 NBC 48.6 69 1986 NBC 48.3 70 1978 CBS 47.2 67 1979 NBC 47.1 74 1984 CBS 46.4 71 1985 ABC 46.4 63 1980 CBS 46.3 67 1996 NBC 46.1 72 1987 CBS 45.8 66 1994 NBC 45.4 66 1993 NBC 45.1 66 1998 NBC 44.5 67 1977 NBC 44.4 73 1981 NBC 44.4 63 1972 CBS 44.2 74 1989 NBC 43.5 68 1997 FOX 43.3 65 2000 ABC 43.2 62 1973 NBC 42.7 72 1975 NBC 42.4 72 1976 CBS 42.3 78 1988 ABC 41.9 62 1991 ABC 41.8 63 1974 CBS 41.6 73 1995 ABC 41.3 63 2003 ABC 40.7 61 2002 FOX 40.4 61 2001 CBS 40.4 61 1999 FOX 40.2 61 1992 CBS 40.3 61 1971 NBC 39.9 75 1970 CBS 39.4 69 1990 CBS 39.0 63 1968 CBS 36.8 68 1969 NBC 36.0 71 1967 CBS 22.6 43 1967 NBC 18.5 36

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