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"Snowbama" Day captivates the Triangle

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

There's nothing more exciting than a snow day—especially when it happens to coincide with an historic presidential inauguration.

Nielsen ratings show that more than 51 percent of households in the Raleigh-Durham television market tuned in to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama Jan. 20. In comparison, the overall ratings for the country were around 30 percent. The Triangle ratings were the highest concentration of viewers in the country—higher even than Obama's hometown of Chicago.

As the (Raleigh) News & Observer reported:

Local stations were thrilled with the "Snowbama effect."

John Idler, general manger of WTVD, said the ABC station's numbers -- 15.9 percent of households -- were higher than expected. He attributed that to the fact that people had "more time to watch." WRAL had the highest rating in the market -- 17.9 percent -- during the noon to 12:15 p.m. period when Obama took the oath. (A ratings point equals about 10,800 homes.)

Steve Hammel, general manager of the CBS affiliate, said such viewership is higher than on most Super Bowl Sundays.


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