The epic Saints-Vikings game Sunday did a pretty OK number on WVUE New Orleans, which happens to share an owner with the football team in Tom Benson.
NOLA’s GMs tell me the French Quarter was eerily quiet during the game, everyone either at the game or watching it somewhere.
WVUE GM Joe Cook tells me the game did a 63.2 rating/82 share.
It’s a pretty astounding number for a variety of reasons. First off, with the Saints’ long history of futility, one would think it’s somewhat difficult to build up a strong fan base. Second, I’d imagine the market has a higher number of transplants, as in, non-natives, due to New Orleans’ ability to lure residents to the market with its nightlife, restaurants and quirky charm. Such recent arrivals didn’t grow up on the Saints.
Then again, it helped that Vikings QB (at least for now) Brett Favre is essentially a local boy, hailing from Kiln, Mississippi, about an hour away, depending on traffic over Lake Ponchartrain.
WVUE’s Cook says the team’s previous futility is a big part of what makes them so special to residents today. “People wearing bags over their heads, calling them the Aints–to have gone from that type of image to where we are today,” he says. “It really means something here. It’s something for people to be proud of.”
Cook says the ratings broke the record for a Fox affiliate with football, surpassing a ‘97 Packers game in Milwaukee, when the Pack was led by a young QB named…yup, Brett Favre.