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JAN
25
1 years

Katie Couric's Manti Te'o Interview Is Ratings Hit

The first sit-down with the Notre Dame football star gives Couric's daytime show its highest tune-in since the show's September debut.

Manti Te'o on Katie - H 2013
Disney-ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Katie Couric's interview with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o gave Couric's freshman talk show its highest ratings since its much-publicized debut in September.

According to preliminary metered market data, Katie pulled in a 2.6 household rating for Thursday's show. That's a 30 percent spike over the ABC daytime show's prior four-week average (2.6 compared to a 2.0).

STORY: Manti Te'o Denies Gay Rumors, Expresses Regret in Katie Couric Interview

The show also finished No. 1 in its afternoon time slot in the four top markets -- New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.

The interview was Te'o's first on-camera appearance since he and Notre Dame officials confirmed that the football star's supposed deceased girlfriend was an elaborate alleged Internet hoax. Te'o had previously submitted to an off-camera interview with ESPN.

In the Katie interview, Couric asked Te'o why he continued to hide the truth after he found out that "Lennay Kekua" -- who supposedly died of leukemia last September, in the same week as his grandmother -- did not exist. He said he was "scared." She also asked the Heisman Trophy runner-up about rumors surrounding his sexuality. 

The question ("Are you gay?") and Te'o's response ("No, far from it, far from it.") lit up Twitter and has continued to resonate in the blogosphere.