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For those who REALLY hate football ...

February 3, 2008 |  2:09 pm

CNN, understandably, crowed about the ratings it garnered for the Thursday night faceoff between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- more than 8.3 million viewers checked it out, the best showing during this campaign for a debate broadcast on a cable network.

But here's the number we're going to really want to know: Viewership for its rerun of the debate this evening, starting at 5 p.m. (PST). At that point, the Super Bowl game will have been underway for about 90 minutes.

Maybe CNN executives will catch a break -- like the undefeated New England Patriots quickly taking a big lead over the New York Giants, causing at least some folks to start twisting their TV dials for alternative programming.

At the least, the debate's early part should coincide with the Super Bowl halftime show. So those wanting to tune out the on-field extravaganza can tune in to the back-and-forth between Obama and Clinton over their healthcare plans!

For true political junkies with no interest in The Big Game, CNN also is rebroadcasting, starting at 3 p.m. (PST), the Republican debate it aired Wednesday night.

Of course, savvy non-football fans know that when the Super Bowl is on, it's not a time to stay home; it's a time to go see a hit movie and have a good shot at getting decent seats.

-- Don Frederick