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Strong ratings for Saints-Colts Super Bowl

February 8, 2010 |  9:38 am

Saints As expected, Sunday's Super Bowl game, in which  the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17, is showing strong early television ratings.

Preliminary numbers show that in the 55 biggest markets, the game drew a 46.4 rating. Last year's game had an early overnight measurement of 42.1.That's a 10% increase over last year's Pittsburgh-Arizona matchup. 

According to the early numbers released by CBS,  the most-viewed portion of the game came between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. PST.

Not surprisingly, the market with the highest viewership was New Orleans. A little more surprising was that the Washington, D.C., market was second. But there was over two feet of snow on the ground in the capital, so maybe that wasn't surprising at all. Nashville was third and Indianapolis fourth. Norfolk, Va., was seventh, and that's another place hit hard by last week's blizzard.

The Los Angeles market wasn't quite as into the game. It ranked No. 54 among the major markets, with a 39.4 measurement.

Super Bowl ratings %
1. New Orleans56.3/82
2. Washington, D.C.56.0/73
3. Nashville54.4/73
4. Indianapolis54.2/80
5. Columbus, Ohio54.0/74
6. Dayton, Ohio53.7/73
7. Norfolk, Va.53.1/72
8. Knoxville, Tenn.52.0/65
T9. West Palm Bch, Fla.51.8/69
T9. Pittsburgh51.8/67

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Saints running back Mike Bell mans a television camera after defeating the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images