Leadoff: How Falcons, Bulldogs compared in weekend TV ratings

Matt Ryan and the Falcons lost for the first time this season on Sunday.

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Matt Ryan and the Falcons lost for the first time this season on Sunday.

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, an early look at Atlanta sports.

Audiences were huge for football and tiny by comparison for other sports on Atlanta TV over the weekend.

Not surprisingly, Sunday’s Falcons-Bills game and Saturday’s Georgia-Tennessee game were the biggest draws for sports viewers, generating Nielsen ratings of 19.5 and 16.7, respectively, in the Atlanta TV market.

Those ratings, which represent the percentage of the market’s households watching on average, translate to local audiences of about 470,000 homes for the Falcons game and 403,000 homes for the Georgia game.

Four other football games drew ratings above 5.0 in Atlanta over the weekend: the Colts-Seahawks game on NFL “Sunday Night Football” (9.8), the Raiders-Broncos game (8.7), the Giants-Buccaneers game (5.4) and the college game between Alabama and Mississippi (5.2).

Lagging far behind the football games were the Braves’ final two games of the season, which posted ratings of 0.9 (Saturday) and 1.0 (Sunday) in the Atlanta market.

Atlanta United, which almost tied the Braves in the local ratings last Wednesday, drew an audience only about half the size of the Braves' on Saturday. The Atlanta United-New England game posted a 0.5 rating here.

Here’s a closer look at the ratings and the number of homes watching various sports events on TV in the Atlanta market over the weekend: 

Event / Rating / ATL homes watching

Falcons-Bills / 19.5 / 470,000

Georgia-Tennessee / 16.7 / 403,000

Colts-Seahawks / 9.8 / 236,000

Buccaneers-Giants/ 5.2 / 125,000

Alabama-Mississippi / 5.2 / 125,000

Florida-Vanderbilt / 4.5 / 109,000

Auburn-Mississippi State / 3.9 / 94,000

Georgia Tech-North Carolina / 2.9 / 70,000

Braves-Marlins (Sunday) / 1.0 / 24,000

Braves-Marlins (Saturday) / 0.9 / 22,000

Atlanta United-New England / 0.5 / 12,000

Suggested video:

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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses the decision to throw the ball on fourth and one at the end of the game and how he felt his arm was moving forward on the Bills' defensive touchdown. Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter

ICYMI … 

John Coppolella was forced to resign Monday as Braves general manager amid an ongoing MLB investigation into alleged infractions on the international free-agent market, David O'Brien reports. See his full story here.

Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said a decision could come by mid-week on whether Brian Snitker will continue as manager, O'Brien reports. See that story here.

Looking for an early list of potential candidates for the Braves' suddenly open GM job? See Gabriel Burns' list here.

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