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SUPER BOWL/SUPER BUSINESS | CNNSI.com COVERAGE | INSIDE THE NFL
Super Bowl ratings up
graphic February 4, 2002: 12:41 p.m. ET

Exciting finish boosts audience; half-time show easily tops NBC's 'Fear Factor'.
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore
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    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - One of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history lifted the game's ratings by about 7 percent, according to preliminary numbers released Monday by Fox.

    Fox said it scored a 42.5 rating in the nation's 51 largest television markets, giving it a 61 percent share of homes watching television in those markets. Last year's Super Bowl on CBS got a 39.7 rating and a 58 share in the same preliminary measure of ratings, known as "overnights."

    The game was not the only ratings winner for Fox Entertainment Group (FOX: down $0.60 to $20.30, Research, Estimates). The half-time show held on to 96 percent of those watching the game just before the break. That blew away NBC's attempt to woo football viewers with an episode of its show "Fear Factor" featuring former Playboy playmates.

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    The close Super Bowl game Sunday ended with a winning field goal by the New England Patroits and a ratings win for Fox.
    Fox puts its half-time rating at 40.7, with a 50 percent share of homes watching television. NBC said that its 8 p.m. episode of "Fear Factor" had a rating of 6.8 and a 10 percent share, when adjusted for the show airing at different times in different time zones.

    NBC said the "Fear Factor" rating was not bad for the network in that time slot. For example, the previous week the quiz show "Weakest Link" got a 6.5 rating and a 9 percent share.

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    The Super Bowl half-time show, featuring rock group U2, beat NBC's "Fear Factor" featuring former Playboy playmates.
    "This would have been a good night for us against regular competition, let alone the Super Bowl," said Tom Bierbaum, an NBC spokesman. "When the final national numbers come in, they will be better than we normally do."

    Fox said its Super Bowl ratings gain was impressive in view of the greater effort by competitors to offer original programming. Fox said half the network programming from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. was original, compared with 11 percent last year and none two years ago.

    The ratings were helped by the closeness of the game, which led to rising viewership during every 15-minute block measured by Nielsen Media Research.

    By the 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. ET block, which included the two lead changes at the end of the game, ratings reached 46.8 and a 68 share. A year ago, as the New York Giants lost a blowout to the Baltimore Ravens, ratings fell continually during the second half and ended up at 37.7 in the final half-hour of the broadcast.

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    The late-game ratings gain was a boon to some advertisers, such as candymaker Mars Inc. and drugmaker Roche Group, which picked up spots well below the average $1.9 million Fox got for each 30-second commercial. A history of blowouts in the Super Bowl generally makes the fourth quarter the least attractive time to advertise.

    The game got a 56.1 rating and a 78 percent share of television viewers in the Boston market, home of the champion New England Patriots, and a 52.4 rating and an 81 percent share in St. Louis, home of the much-favored NFC champion Rams, who lost the game. graphic

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    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

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