An average audience of more than one million area viewers watched the last two hours of the Baltimore Ravens double overtime victory over the Denver Broncos Saturday.
The audience peaked at 1.1 million viewers at 8:30 p.m., according to preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings provided by WJZ, Baltimore's CBS-owned station.
The rating is expected to be about 47, when final figures are available Monday. That breaks down to roughly one out of every two TV homes in the market being tuned to the game.
While the rating is likely to be about the same as the one for last week's victory over Indianapolis, the total number of viewers is going to be higher.
Last week, the average audience of all viewers (age 2 and older) was 877,700. Viewership peaked at 4 p.m. with 974,100 viewers watching on WJZ-TV.
"We were thrilled to share in the excitement with the over one million people who watched the Ravens dramatic victory," Jay Newman, general manager of WJZ, said in an email Sunday. "Looking forward to bringing another great game to Maryland fans next weekend!"
The 1.1 million peak is a remarkable number in this era of fragmented media audiences. There are only 2.7 million total persons (ages 2+) in the Baltimore TV market.
There are two stories here: Baltimore's love for the Ravens and the continued power of TV to draw big-tent audiences for teh right kind of events.