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August 16th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 01-18-2014, 05:59 AM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

By Michael Sanserino / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No, the Steelers aren't in the playoffs. But Steelers fans are still paying attention.

Television ratings for the NFL playoffs in Pittsburgh outpace most other markets in the country, even though the Steelers' playoff hopes died on the last day of the regular football season.

Of the top 20 television markets that don't have an NFL team still in contention, Pittsburgh had the fourth-highest viewership during last weekend's playoff games, according to Nielsen Media Research. It also finished in the top half of markets during the wild card playoff weekend Jan. 4-5.

"We love it," said Jim Lapiana, general manager of WPGH, the local Fox affiliate.

And why wouldn't he?

Bigger ratings mean his network can charge more for advertising spots. And National Football League playoff games are a great lead-in for other network programming, which also means more chances for advertising revenue.

Football typically is the highest-rated TV event each week in most major markets throughout the country. Still, the eight playoff games of the past two weekends had the highest ratings of any broadcast in the Pittsburgh market, and those numbers outpaced most markets in America.

"Pittsburgh is a good sports town in general," said Chris Pike, general manager of KDKA, the local CBS station. "While viewership is obviously the highest for Steeler games and for playoffs that the Steelers are involved in, the performance of non-Steeler games -- both the regular season and playoffs -- probably rival the ratings for most home team games in most markets."

Women help drive the numbers locally, Mr. Lapiana said, because they watch NFL football in high numbers, even when the Steelers aren't playing.

"More women are involved here in the sport than in other markets because of the dominance of the hometown team and the understanding of the sport in general," he said. "Probably more families watch the sport collectively in this market, which I assume attributes to the higher percentage of viewership."

While fans in Pittsburgh watch more football than in most other cities, Steelers viewership dropped this season by 14 percent, according to the Sports Business Journal. The decline in viewership is directly related to the team's on-field struggles.

Despite the drop, the Steelers still earned the sixth-best local market ratings of all 32 NFL teams.

CBS owns broadcast rights for the AFC playoffs, and Fox owns the rights to televise the NFC playoffs, although NBC broadcasts a pair of wild card games each year. While ratings have been high for this year's playoffs, KDKA certainly misses having the chance to broadcast a Steelers playoff game.

The Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers divisional round playoff game Sunday drew a 24.8 rating on the network and a 38 share -- meaning 24.8 percent of all TVs in the Pittsburgh market were tuned in and 38 percent of all TVs in use at the time were tuned in to the game.

By any account, those numbers would make a TV executive swoon, and Mr. Pike at KDKA isn't complaining.

But those numbers pale in comparison to the last time the Steelers played a playoff game.

In 2012, the Steelers-Broncos wild card game featuring quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Tim Tebow drew a 56.2 rating and 77 share for the CBS broadcast in the Pittsburgh market.

"Thankfully we haven't had too many years when the Steelers weren't involved in the playoffs," Mr. Pike said. "Most years they are. ... It's a big football town."

Turns out, it's not just football.

Pittsburgh was also one of the top markets in National Hockey League's Winter Classic viewership for the Jan. 1 event -- although the Penguins were not in it. The game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs drew a 7.0 rating in Pittsburgh, the third highest U.S. market behind Detroit and Buffalo.

ESPN also recently ranked the Pittsburgh market as 16th-best for college football viewership in the country, with most of that viewership unrelated to the University of Pittsburgh.

The AFC and NFC championship football games this Sunday will be sure to send TV ratings soaring once again.

The matchups between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots -- and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady -- and between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks are projected to produce huge ratings nationwide.

"Obviously we'd prefer a Roethlisberger-Manning or a Roethlisberger-Brady matchup," Mr. Pike said. "But I think a Manning-Brady matchup will do just fine."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/re...#ixzz2qkb0nlk3
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

Next time you hear some jackass non-Steeler fan claim that we're ignorant of the rest of the NFL, hit them with this.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

to a no lesser degree, lets not forget the famous Rivalries of the Steelers, that just keep those hits a comin', even when not playin'.
http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/po...test-rivalries
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

This just means Yinzers are the top of the lazy heap... Turn off the tv and go do something...
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

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This just means Yinzers are the top of the lazy heap... Turn off the tv and go do something...
I always do when it's not football season.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

I may not be a Pittsburgher, but I'm sure as hell going to be glued to the TV this Sunday.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

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I may not be a Pittsburgher, but I'm sure as hell going to be glued to the TV this Sunday.
So am I! I'd be curious if I could find the television ratings for certain teams here in Toronto. Particularly to see the Bills ratings(who no one here even cares about) versus everyone else.

For those who don't know, how the games work here is we normally get the Bills game every week on a local channel, plus 2-3 other one o'clock games(one on TSN, which is the Canadian ESPN, and then a game on our Fox feed and then a game on our CBS feed, then two 4 PM games(usually the major game on Fox and the major game on CBS.) And then the NFLN game is on NFLN, the Monday Night Game is on TSN and then the Sunday Night game is on TSN & NBC simultaneously.

Just from being out an about the amount of Steelers, Eagles, Cowboys and Patriots fans probably outnumber Bills fans by seven or eight to one. It's pretty ugly, which is why I constantly question the whole "Bills in Toronto" initiative. This is a world class city, and they've trying to force feed a team that hasn't been to the playoffs down our throats. Yeah the Leafs and Raptors have been a debacle recently, but they have some history here which is why they sell out every night.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

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Originally Posted by Branthrax View Post
So am I! I'd be curious if I could find the television ratings for certain teams here in Toronto. Particularly to see the Bills ratings(who no one here even cares about) versus everyone else.

For those who don't know, how the games work here is we normally get the Bills game every week on a local channel, plus 2-3 other one o'clock games(one on TSN, which is the Canadian ESPN, and then a game on our Fox feed and then a game on our CBS feed, then two 4 PM games(usually the major game on Fox and the major game on CBS.) And then the NFLN game is on NFLN, the Monday Night Game is on TSN and then the Sunday Night game is on TSN & NBC simultaneously.

Just from being out an about the amount of Steelers, Eagles, Cowboys and Patriots fans probably outnumber Bills fans by seven or eight to one. It's pretty ugly, which is why I constantly question the whole "Bills in Toronto" initiative. This is a world class city, and they've trying to force feed a team that hasn't been to the playoffs down our throats. Yeah the Leafs and Raptors have been a debacle recently, but they have some history here which is why they sell out every night.
... Off and on, since the 90's , it's been spoken in and around Toronto about moving the Bills to Toronto, the latest is some talk about Bon Jovi purchasing the Bills and moving them to Toronto ? ..hence why the Bills hoopla now and then in TO.
...anyway, as you may have surmized yourself, none of these have EVER amounted to anything "solid" , so I dunno. ?
Financially-wise Toronto could support an NFL franchise team, ..., but another thing is, the Stadium in Toronto may not have the "minimum-capacity" required by the NFL, plus other less obvious factots hamper all these crazy ideas.

...anyway, this is way off topic, and you'd be better off to ask about this on the "NFL Forum" here.
;)

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

Am enjoying both games today and thinking we've could have done just as good/bad (however you look at it) as the Patriots did against the Broncos, and, maybe at least slightly better. Any given Sunday, right - but the Patriots defense just looks putrid

Those defenses playing in Seattle right now? Phew!
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pittsburgh is still a football town, even when the Steelers aren't playing

Where was everybody for the home Bengals game?
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