When New York-area teams appear in the playoffs, the TV rating in New York often comes in at around half the figure of the opposing city.

Why? Many reasons. In most sports New York's loyalties are divided between two teams, and New York's spectacular diversity includes many residents more interested in opera, theater, PBS and even soccer than TV offerings such as football and baseball.

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Form held Saturday in a big way, with the Jets-Bengals game attracting an average of 45.0 percent of homes in the Cincinnati market compared to only 20.8 in New York, which finished tied for ninth among the 56 major markets measured.

In addition to logical cities such as Dayton and Columbus, New York also finished behind New Orleans, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Fort Myers.

What city tied for ninth with New York? San Diego.

Overall, the ratings for the two games Saturday on NBC were the highest for those time slots on wild-card weekend in a decade.

Photo: AP