There are two truths about Pittsburgh. It is a town that loves its football, and it’s a town that really loves its Steelers.
According to data released on Jan. 4 by Nielsen Media Research,
Pittsburgh was the nation’s No. 3 television market for Sunday Night Football on NBC for its entire 2011 regular season.
Pittsburgh had a 20.0 household rating and 30 share across all 16 regular season games carried by NBC, which means an average of 30 percent of all TVs turned on in the Pittsburgh market were watching Sunday Night Football during the season. And the numbers were considerably higher than that for the three nights when the Steelers were one of the participating teams.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the viewership when the Steelers were on Sunday Night Football was 20.3 million for the game in Indianapolis on Sept. 25; 22.1 million for the game against Baltimore on Nov. 6; and 20.3 million for the game in Kansas City on Nov. 27.
Seven in 10 TVs in the Pittsburgh region were tuned to Steelers-Chiefs on Nov. 2, which made it the nation’s top market that night, as it was as well on Nov. 6 for Steelers-Ravens. A preseason game back in August against the Philadelphia Eagles, which aired on a Thursday night on FOX, was one of the highest-rated preseason games in recent history.
The No. 1 TV market for Sunday Night Football was New Orleans, with a 25.4 rating and 34 share. Pittsburgh’s ratings for “Sunday Night Football” were just behind No. 2 Milwaukee (20.4 rating/30 share), which is both Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears territory. The Baltimore TV market, the home of the Steelers’ rivals Baltimore Ravens, came in No. 4 on the Sunday Night Football list with a 19.5 rating and 30 share.