Football fans overwhelmingly chose to stick with their local
stations for their game-viewing experiences over national cable nets ESPN and
NFL Network, according
to recent study by TVB.
For ESPN's Monday Night Football package and NFL
Net's Thursday Night Football slate, each network was required to
provide a live feed of every game to each team's respective local broadcast TV
station partner (usually an ABC affiliate for ESPN games). Local market
simulcasts occurred 60 times during the 2012 regular season, and those local
stations attracted nearly 4.5 times more household viewers.
In the 30 markets where a regular season game was simulcast
on both local TV and one of the cable nets, the average HH broadcast rating
exceeded the cable network rating by 74%. The top five markets where this occurred
were: Milwaukee (351% higher TV station ratings than cable); Minneapolis
(+261%); Cleveland (+212%); New Orleans (+212%) and St. Louis (+211%).
The markets of the two Super Bowl teams were sixth
(Baltimore) and 13th (San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose).