Atlanta matches Seattle in Super Bowl ratings

Atlanta viewers did their part in making Sunday’s Super Bowl the most watched program in U.S. television history.

New England’s down-to-the-wire victory over Seattle on NBC drew a 52.1 Nielsen rating in the Atlanta TV market, well above the national rating of 47.5.

The rating is the percentage of homes that tuned in on average.

Surprisingly, the game drew the same rating in Atlanta as in Seattle despite the Seahawks’ participation. The cities tied for 17th highest rating among the nation’s 56 metered markets.

The highest rating was in Boston (61.0), followed by New Orleans (55.7) Phoenix (55.6), Detroit (55.0) and Norfolk (55.0).

In another measure, the Super Bowl drew a 71 “share” nationally, meaning 71 percent of homes with TV sets in use at the time watched the game. That figure was 73 percent in Atlanta and a whopping 89 percent in Seattle and 85 in Boston.

Nationally, the game was watched by an average audience of 114.4 million viewers — 2.2 million more than for last year’s Super Bowl, which at the time was the most watched telecast in U.S. history.

Sunday’s rating was the fourth highest all-time for a Super Bowl, the highest since 1986, but the number of viewers nevertheless was the largest because of population growth.