The New Orleans Times-Picayune went with an unusual post-Super Bowl front, illustrating the local disdain for the game after the Saints' loss. That disdain was also seen in the low local ratings.

Super Bowl LIII’s low overnight ratings were particularly notable in one city; New Orleans. Many Saints’ fans are still upset about the controversial non-call late in their NFC Championship Game loss, which led to protests from the governor, congressmen and even a senator, and that led to a vowed boycott of the game. And boy, did many come through on that, delivering just a 26.1 overnight rating for CBS. That rating was the lowest for New Orleans in Super Bowl history:

Paulsen has more on that at Sports Media Watch:

New Orleans ranked dead last among the 56 metered markets for Sunday’s Super Bowl 53. Patriots-Rams scored a 26.1 rating in the market, down 51% from last year (53.0) and down 46% from 2017 (48.4).

…Typically, New Orleans is one of the NFL’s strongest neutral markets. It ranked seventh for last year’s Super Bowl. Saints fans were incensed by a blown call in the NFC Championship Game, and talk of a Super Bowl boycott percolated throughout the two-week bye.

Of course, this didn’t affect the overall nationwide ratings too much. New Orleans is the country’s 50th-largest media market with just 624,020 TV households in 2018-19 (as per Nielsen estimates), and so even a drop this big only corresponds to 175,000 fewer households (or a .15 rating nationally). So it’s not accurate to cite this boycott as a reason why the overall ratings were down so much. But it is interesting to see New Orleans go from a market punching well above its size in Super Bowl ratings (again, seventh nationally last year) to one punching way below its weight, and to see a threatened NFL boycott that actually had a significant impact (unlike so many threatened NFL boycotts in recent years). And the city’s still salty about how this played out, as shown by the New Orleans Times-Picayune front page seen above. Here’s the full version of that:

Now that is some high-level pettiness, up there with Saints’ head coach Sean Payton wearing a t-shirt with an image of Roger Goodell with a clown nose to a season-ending press conference.

[Sports Media Watch]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.