TV ratings are among lowest in 25 years of Super Bowls

January 29, 1991

Although the New York Giants' 20-19 victory was one of the most dramatic Super Bowls, it was among the lower-rated games in the event's 25-year history.

Sunday's game, televised by ABC, averaged a 42.9 overnight rating in 25 cities, according to A.C. Nielsen Co. ratings released by ABC. If that holds up in the national ratings, it would be the third-lowest rated Super Bowl since 1976.

The only lower rated games in the last 15 years would be last year's between San Francisco and Denver on CBS (39.0) and 1988's game between Washington and Denver on ABC (41.9). The 49ers beat the Broncos, 55-10, in the 1990 Super Bowl and the Redskins beat Denver, 42-10 in '88.

The rating represents the percentage of televisions tuned in to a program and represents 921,000 homes.

The game got a 63 share, the percentage of homes whose televisions are on at the time. If that holds up in the national ratings, it be the second-lowest Super Bowl share ever behind 1988 (62).

* BILLS: The National Football League fined coach Marv Levy $5,000 for missing a mandatory Super Bowl interview last Tuesday. Levy apparently told his players about the fine before the kickoff of Super Bowl XXV.

* BETTING: Although betting on this year's Super Bowl didn't match that of previous years, bookmakers were happy with the outcome of the contest.

With much of the estimated $40 million in legal wagers bet on the Bills, bookies needed the Giants to stay within a touchdown to win.

"For once it fell the way it was supposed to fall for the books," Fred White, sports book manager at Leroy's, said. "It was a pretty good day for us, probably our best Super Bowl ever."

"It was about time we won a game," Keith Glantz, book manager at the Palace Station, said. "The public had won every playoff game before this, so it was our turn. And the handle was so big that this more than makes up for the playoffs."

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