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:
Saints fans weren't just flapping their gums when they said they would sit out the Super Bowl. New Orleans ranked DFL in the 56 metered markets with a 26.1 overnight, down 51% vs 2018 (53.0). Lowest rating for the DMA in Super Bowl history.
— Anthony Crupi (@crupicrupicrupi) February 4, 2019
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:
Behold, today's New Orleans Times-Picayune. I nearly spat my coffee out with glee. pic.twitter.com/74yivhHNnL
— Raymond Arroyo (@RaymondArroyo) February 4, 2019
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.