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NFL Still Favorite of L.A. Viewers

June 06, 2003|Sam Farmer

Los Angeles has been without an NFL team since the Raiders and Rams left after the 1994 season, but football still rules the airwaves here.

According to the NFL and Nielsen Media Research, the league averaged a 9.5 rating on broadcast television in Los Angeles last season, which was 58% better than the Lakers (6.0), 188% better than the Dodgers (3.3) and 764% better than the Kings (1.1).

L.A.'s overall ratings average was slightly higher than that of New York (9.3), which has two NFL teams.

The league's TV contracts expire after the 2005 season.

"There continues to be great interest in the NFL in Los Angeles," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "And we can certainly heighten that interest by having a team and Super Bowls back in that market."

Aiello disagreed with the notion L.A. draws a larger audience because, without a local team, it tends to get better games on TV.

"That can be viewed as a negative too," he said. "Typically, a hometown team's ratings outrank the average. There's more interest in a town's own team than anything else."

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