Why a 75-mile radius? Because that’s what the NFL uses to determine primary and secondary local markets for blackouts. If a media market was in the radius of more than one team, I used the team that was closest. If they seemed equidistant, I just split the market in half.
Pop. in TV Households (000s)
New York Giants / Jets
New York, Hartford-New Haven1 , Wilkes-Barre--Scranton
Oakland Raiders / San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Monterey-Salinas
Chicago, South Bend-Elkhart, Rockford
New England Patriots
Boston (Manchester), Hartford-New Haven1 , Providence-New Bedford, Springfield-Holyoke
Charlotte, Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson, Greensboro--High Point--Wiston-Salem, Columbia
Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco-Temple-Bryan, Sherman-Ada
Detroit, Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Toledo, Lansing, Windsor
Houston, Beaumont-Port Arthur
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce
Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Rochester-Mason City-Austin, Mankato
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), Youngstown
Denver, Colorado Springs-Pueblo
Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa-Saint Petersburg (Sarasota), Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne3
Pittsburgh, Johnstown-Altoona-State College, Wheeling-Steubenville, Clarksburg-Weston
Baltimore, Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York2 , Salisbury
Green Bay Packers5
Milwaukee, Green Bay-Appleton, Madison
Saint Louis Rams
Saint Louis, Champaign-Springfield-Decatur
Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne3
Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Lafayette
Buffalo, Rochester, Erie
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City, Topeka, Saint Joseph
San Diego Chargers
Nashville, Bowling Green
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Biloxi-Gulfport
1 Split between New England and New York
2 Split between Baltimore and Philadelphia
3 Split between Jacksonville and Tampa
4 This excludes the Vancouver media market, which is within the radius only by the southern tip of Vancouver Island. My reasoning is that a) NFL blackout rules don’t apply in Canada anyway (I was wrong) and b) it’s a long ferry ride from Victoria to Seattle. If I included Vancouver, Seattle would be tied with Dallas at spot 7.
5 I used two circles, 75 miles from each Milwaukee and Green Bay, which is what the NFL uses.
6 This excludes the Toronto media market, which is actually within the 75-mile circle. If I included Toronto, Buffalo would be ranked 4. It also excludes the Syracuse area which, though outside the 75-mile radius, is apparently sometimes blacked out if Buffalo doesn’t sell out.
7 The San Diego market in particular includes a wide swath of Mexico, including the Tijuana metro area, so I suspect there might be some Spanish-language households where they can/do watch American football, but I have no idea what number would be, nor for other teams that have a Spanish-language following. In addition, I didn’t include the Los Angeles area in the San Diego area, I guess assuming they were going to get their own team soon enough. If I included LA, it would rocket the Chargers to number 1.
Special thanks to /u/NapoleonBonerparts for first linking me to a data source.
EDIT 2: In case you were curious, because I was, here are the 75-mile radius market(s) that are larger than at least one of the above:
Los Angeles (18217)
San Antonio (3933)
Oklahoma City (3404)
If we were also to include non-English speaking households, San Juan and Montréal would be on that list, too.
EDIT 3: I suspect that there will be some consternation as to where I put some markets, like, does anyone in Pennsylvania actually root for the Jets, Giants, Bills or Ravens? I don’t know. I’m just using (somewhat) strict geography. I’d love to hear from people who actually live in those areas :)
EDIT 4: Thanks to /u/superbluefish for noticing that I read my source documents wrong. The numbers I have aren’t actually TV Households, but they are Population in TV Households. I’ve fixed the title, and if I can find actual Canadian TV Household data, then I will update the numbers to that instead.
Sources: Nielsen, Television Bureau of Canada, Wikipedia, the506.com
nfl team market size rankings - Bing
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