Around the NFL: Top television markets

Steve Doerschuk

We’re not sure why the NFL publishes a list of the country’s top 100 television markets in its 2008 Fact and Record Book.

We’re guessing it makes fans in some of the markets nervous. There are, of course, 32 teams in the NFL. It stands out in the rankings that five teams, printed in bold-face, are based in markets outside the top 32:

The Packers’ market, listed as Green Bay-Appleton, is the smallest at No. 70, with 439,940 TV households, barely ahead of Des Moines, Toledo and Honolulu. This is a bit deceiving, since it excludes Milwaukee (34th, 891,010 TV households), which used to play host to numerous Packers games.

The Big Apple, obviously, is the biggest market, with 7.4 million TV households in the New York metro area.

No. 2 is Los Angeles, at 5.7 million. Naturally, there will be people who wonder why LaLa Land is no man’s land for the NFL, whereas Jacksonville (No. 49 with 655,470 TV households), Buffalo (No. 50 with 636,000) and New Orleans (No. 53 with 600, 150) are preparing for active duty in 2008.

We’re guessing the NFL publishes the top 100 markets in part to say:

- Hey, Jacksonville, what’s up with falling 5,000-plus short of selling out last year’s home opener?

- Hey, Buffalo, share the Bills with Toronto and like it.

- Hey, New Orleans, we feel your pain, but get on the stick ... you’re barely bigger than Wilkes Barre-Scranton.

Other thoughts and observations based on the TV market list:

- Miami-Fort Lauderdale (No. 16, 1,536,020) and Cleveland-Akron-Canton (No. 17, 1,533,710) are the definition of mid-major markets.

- By itself, Cincinnati is a small market (No. 33, 904,340), but throw in Columbus (No. 32, 905,690) and that 1-2 Ohio punch is as big as Phoenix-Prescott (No. 12, 1.8 million). But then, Columbus is split between Browns and Bengals fans.

- Among markets celebrating Super Bowl wins within the last 15 years, New York is No. 1, Dallas-Forth Worth is No. 5 at 2.4 million, Boston-Manchester is No. 7 at 2.9 million, Denver is No. 18 at 1.47 million, St. Louis is No. 21 at 1.24 million, Pittsburgh is No. 22 at 1.16 million, Baltimore is No. 24 at 1.09 million, Indianapolis is No. 26 at 1.07 million and Green Bay-Appleton is No. 70.

- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose is listed as one market, No. 6 at 2.4 million. The 49ers won a Super Bowl and the Raiders lost one within the last 15 years.

Other super markets

Other TV markets celebrating a trip to a Super Bowl (but losing when they got there) this decade include:

- Chicago, No. 3, 3.5 million.

- Philadelphia, No. 4, 2.9 million.

- Atlanta, No. 8, 2.3 million.

- Seattle-Tacoma, No. 14, 1.8 million.

- Charlotte, No. 25, 1.08 million.

You may have noticed the Super Bowls winners and losers lists support the premise that the NFL is the pro sports league in which everybody truly has a shot.

Odd towns out

In addition to Los Angeles, markets in the top 32 without an NFL team include:

- Orlando-Daytona Beach, No. 19, 1.43 million.

- Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, No. 20, 1.39 million.

- Portland, Oregon, No. 23, 1.15 million.

- Raleigh-Durham, N.C., No. 28, 1.07 million.

- Hartford-New Haven, Conn., No. 29, 1.01 million.

These markets approximate the size of the Titans and Chiefs markets. Nashville is No. 30 at 966,170; Kansas City is No. 31 at 927,060.

Four quick hitters

Four quotes from Brett Favre via his press conference in Cleveland:

1. “I’m here for one reason, not to do commercials.”

I had to laugh when ESPN was breaking the story around midnight. One moment, Favre news was breaking out all over. At the commercial break, there was Favre strutting in Wranglers.

2. “I think it (retiring No. 4 in Green Bay) will be postponed for a while.”

Will the Red Sox retire Manny’s number before or after they get back to a World Series?

3. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win, and it’s about the team.”

Which one?

4. “A lot of things happened this offseason, a lot of shocking things.”

How long until there are three books revealing every single one?

Just passing through

It was just a coincidence, but somehow it seemed an appropriate sideshow in the Favre circus.

Favre was conducting his hello-Jets press conference in a room near the showers in Cleveland Browns Stadium. Just outside, 300 high school cheerleaders paraded by.

The cheerleaders were on their way to the field before the Browns-Jets game.

Unlike Favre, they were in uniform.

Reach Steve Doerschuk at steve.doerschuk@cantonrep.com