FLOWERY BRANCH — With the aid of two Sunday Night Football games, the Falcons television ratings through the first seven games are up 12 percent from last season in the Atlanta 23-county designated market area, according to the Neilsen ratings.
Atlanta, with 2.29 million TV homes, is the ninth largest television market in the nation.
The franchise is enjoying its highest ratings start through seven games in franchise history, according to the NFL’s evaluation of the Nielsen ratings.
The Falcons are riding a wave of widespread interest in the NFL that is outpacing the viewing of college football games in the Atlanta DMA.
The Falcons are averaging a 23.4 market share through seven games as compared to 20.9 percent in 2010. Their lowest rated game was an 18.4 share for the Seattle game on Oct. 2.
The University of Georgia’s game against Florida last Saturday was its highest rated game of the season and just matched the Falcons lowest game with an 18.4 percent rating.
Georgia’ next highest rated game was a 16.9 for the South Carolina game.
Georgia Tech highest rated game of the season was last week’s tilt against Clemson and it drew a 12.2 rating.
Last weekend when the Falcons had a bye, the NFL overall drew a 6.9. locally compared to a 6.4 overall for all of the college games.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog