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Local Super Bowl rating hits 50, but dips from past three Patriots Super Bowls

Alan Pergament

WUTV had a local rating of 50.4 for the Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-20 Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night.

The rating fulfilled the Fox affiliate’s guarantee to advertisers of around a 50 rating, but it still was lower than Super Bowls have received here over the last several years.

The New England Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the February 2019 Super Bowl had a preliminary rating of 52.4 on WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate. Buffalo was the No. 3 market for the game, behind only Boston (57.1) and Richmond (52.6).

That Buffalo rating was about a 7% drop from the 56.4 rating for the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the Patriots on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) in the February 2018 Super Bowl when the Buffalo market was the highest-rated in the country.

The 2018 Super Bowl rating was in a tie for the second-highest ever in Buffalo, behind only the local record rating of 57.2 for the Patriots' comeback victory over Atlanta in 2017 carried by WUTV.

In other words, the local rating Sunday was about 12% lower than the record 2017 local rating and about 4% lower than the 2019 game.

The lower rating Sunday for the first Super Bowl not featuring New England in four years suggests Western New York football fans missed the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, the team and player they love to hate.

Still, the rating in Buffalo was more than 20% higher than the 41.6 national overnight rating for Sunday’s game, which was 1% over the 2019 Super Bowl and the highest-rated since 2015.

Buffalo had a higher rating than the San Francisco market and likely will be in the top 5 of local affiliates nationally.

Kansas City was No.1 with a 55.7 overnight rating. San Francisco had a 48.6 rating.

The rating in Buffalo Sunday peaked at 51.6 during the halftime show at 8:15 p.m. and was consistent throughout the telecast. It ended with a 50.2 rating.

The 14-minute halftime show by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez that started at 8:09 p.m. and ended at 8:23 p.m. was a ratings hit. It played over two different, 15-minute windows, delivering a higher rating than almost all 15 minute windows of game action. The first halftime window from 8 to 8:15 p.m. had a 50.8 rating and the second window of 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. had the broadcast high 51.6 rating.

The eight-minute interview by Fox News host Sean Hannity of President Trump in the 3:30 p.m. window of the pregame show had a 5.4 rating.

Needless to say, the Super Bowl will be the highest-rated program locally and nationally at a time only a few prime-time entertainment shows get live double-digit ratings for 30 or 60 minutes.


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