Viewers in more than 2 million homes, representing nearly half of all Los Angeles-area TV households, watched Pasadena's Tournament of Roses Parade live on New Year's Day, ratings from the A. C. Nielsen Co. showed Wednesday.

The audience measurement figures indicated that the five stations broadcasting the annual event from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. got a total rating of 46. That means that 46% of the Los Angeles market's 4.4 million homes with TV sets were tuned to the Rose Parade. Discounting households where the TV wasn't on at all, the Pasadena spectacle attracted about 84% of the available audience.

Getting the bulk of those viewers was KTLA Channel 5, which scored a 20 rating for the parade telecast, compared to a 12 for KTTV Channel 11, a 7 for KNBC Channel 4, a 5 for KCBS-TV Channel 2 and a 2 for Spanish-language KMEX Channel 34.

Officials at KTLA said it was the 10th year in a row that Channel 5's coverage had been the No. 1 preference of Rose Parade viewers.

In the battle of the bowls, meanwhile, the Rose Bowl emerged as the most watched football game on New Year's Day among Los Angeles-area viewers.

The Pasadena game, in which USC beat Ohio State 20-17, racked up a huge 34.2 rating on KNBC Channel 4--meaning it was seen in more than 1.5 million homes locally, accounting for 61% of the available audience.

KNBC also scored impressively with the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl. The Orange Bowl, in which Washington triumphed 28-17 over Oklahoma, delivered a 23.3 rating (1 million homes), while the Fiesta Bowl, which featured UCLA beating Miami 39-37, garnered a 17.6 rating (788,000 homes).

The Cotton Bowl on KCBS-TV Channel 2, which aired opposite the Fiesta Bowl and saw Boston College rout Houston 45-28, registered a 12.7 rating (563,000 homes). The Sugar Bowl, which aired opposite the Orange Bowl, fared even worse, getting just a 5 rating (221,000 homes) for KABC-TV Channel 7 as Nebraska beat LSU 28-10.

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