Once again, the Super Bowl didn’t hit a magic 50 rating nationally.
It wasn’t Buffalo’s fault.
With a 53.6 rating, the Buffalo market’s highest-rated Super Bowl since it became a metered market helped it finish No. 10 in the country among the 56 overnight metered markets for New England’s 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Nationally, the game averaged a 47.5 household rating and was the highest-rated Super Bowl since 1986.
Naturally, Boston was No. 1 with a 61 rating.
Surprisingly, Seattle was tied for 17th with a 52.1. I suspect an asterisk should go with Seattle’s rating because my guess is there were a lot more people watching at parties in one of the participating cities than there were in other cities across the country.
If Sunday’s game didn’t hit the magic 50 rating, it is unlikely the Super Bowl ever will.
During a Super Bowl week conference call days before the game, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazuras explained why it is so difficult to hit 50 when he was asked whether he thought it might happen for the New England-Seattle game because of all the attention surrounding Deflategate.
“I just think in this era of media fragmentation, people are doing a variety of things,” said Lazuras. “There’s a little over 300 million people in the country. (The rating) does not account for bars, parties, other things. I believe that the number is underreported somewhat substantially. And there are a lot more people watching the Super Bowl in group gatherings, whether it’s at universities, clubs, other places. Would that get us all the way to a 50? It might. But we’re not going to get credit for that.
“It just dawned on me, there are a lot of Super Bowl parties around the country and say 200 people are there. I don’t know how that gets factored into a rating, but let’s say they don’t have that party, and they have 50 families watching separately on 50 television sets, maybe that would take you to about a 60 rating.
“If you take 120 million or so and add all the parties, there’s no doubt in my mind that one in every two Americans is watching the game. That’s pretty phenomenal power.”
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I am a big fan of NBC’s “Parenthood,” which had its series finale last Thursday.
I received so many emails about the exceptional finale that it made me think that either Nielsen underreports the series viewership or there are a lot of “Parenthood” viewing parties out there.
OK, I am kidding about the “Parenthood” parties. But the show never got the viewership it deserved.
Low viewership, along with the expense associated with such a large cast, contributed to its cancellation after six seasons. It only survived that long because it did so well with affluent viewers coveted by advertisers.
There was some good local news for the finale. It had a 5.1 live rating on Channel 2, which is much higher than it normally receives. Better yet, it beat ABC’s popular “How To Get Away with Murder,” which returned with a new episode. “Murder” had a 4.8 rating on Channel 7, which makes one wonder if the series can continue to be successful now that viewers know who killed the husband of law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis). Of course, both shows should get big viewership boosts when the audience is counted up to seven days after the episodes originally aired.
CBS’ “Elementary” actually won the 10 p.m. Thursday time period with a 5.9 rating on Channel 4.
Trivia Time: Randall Park, who has appeared in the frequent promos for ABC’s new comedy “Fresh off the Boat” and is one of the stars of the program, may look familiar to some moviegoers. He played North Korean President Kim Jong-un in the controversial movie “The Interview.” I laughed much more during “The Interview” than I did watching the stereotypical pilot of “Fresh Off the Boat.” And that isn’t saying much.