(Matthew Hinton/Associated Press)


For several weeks, D.C. sports fans have engaged in an argument with each other (and with me) about whether the D.C. area has more interest in the Ravens than, say, in the Chiefs. Some say absolutely not. Some say of course it’s a bit more, but the difference isn’t huge. And some say it’s a significant difference that should be acknowledged by local media outlets.

Well, here are the Nielsen overnight ratings, for a Super Bowl that set national records. You can judge for yourself.

* In the D.C. market, this year’s game earned a 56.9 rating and a 80 share. That means 80 percent of the local televisions in use were turned to the game, which attracted about 1.34 million D.C.-area homes.

* D.C.’s rating ranked third on the list of top metered markets, behind only Baltimore and New Orleans. And the game actually got a higher share in D.C. than in New Orleans, with a share nearly equal share to Baltimore’s 83.

* The interest also seemed intense in Norfolk and Richmond, which ranked fourth (55.8) and eighth (53.7), respectively, on the list of metered markets. Last season, Norfolk was the only local-ish market to finish in the top 10 of metered markets.

* The game was, not surprisingly, the most-watched Ravens game in D.C. history, by a million miles. The game earned a local rating that was 22.4 percent higher than the 2001 Super Bowl, which had a 46.5 rating in D.C. And yes, the national ratings were also up from that boring Super Bowl. Nationally, ratings were up 20.9 percent from 2001, so the increase was indeed more striking in D.C.

* Similarly, the game’s share in D.C. was up 22.9 percent in D.C. from the 2001 Super Bowl. Nationally, the share was up 20.3 from 2001.

* This now means that the Ravens earned regular-season, divisional-round, AFC championship and Super Bowl franchise ratings records in D.C. this season. Yes, there are mitigating factors behind all of these things (regular-season primetime games, an AFC title primetime game, a massively rated Super Bowl), but records are records.