Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The New England Patriots’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX drew monster ratings Sunday night on Fox, coming in slightly below last year’s game, which averaged 90 million viewers, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

Reliable national estimates won’t be available until later today, but the game averaged a 43.4 household rating/63 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnight ratings from 6:45-10:15 p.m. ET

– 2% below last year’s levels (44.2/63 for New England-Carolina on CBS). Game peaked in the final hour, with a 44.7/62 from 9:30 to 10 and then a 46.5/64 from 10 to 10:30.

Highest local scores came from host city Jacksonville (58.9/77), followed by Philadelphia (56.0/77) and Boston (53.1/78).

Also in the metered-markets, the postgame on Fox averaged a 31.0/46, down 11% from last year’s 35.0/50 on CBS. Following football coverage, an episode of “The Simpsons” averaged a 15.1/25 from 10:45-11:15 p.m. ET, and a preview of new animated laffer “American Dad” generated a 10.8/20 from 11:15-11:45 p.m. ET.

The other nets were battling for crumbs on Sunday, with ABC faring best. Net ran second to Fox in each half-hour of primetime, led by repeats of “Desperate Housewives” at 10 (3.5/8 in adults 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.2/6 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall.

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