Super Bowl viewership falls to lowest levels in years
Super Bowl ratings took a hit, marking the lowest viewership for the game since 2007.
Just 96.4 million total viewers tuned in to CBS’s Sunday night broadcast across linear TV, online streaming and out-of-home, versus the 102 million who watched Super Bowl LIV on Fox last year.
With the sole exception of 2019, the audience for the Super Bowl hasn’t dipped below 100 million people in the past decade, and hasn’t fallen to a level as low as Sunday’s game since the Indianapolis Colts took on the Chicago Bears 14 years ago—a game that was also hosted on CBS.
However, despite the drop in viewership, there’s a silver lining that may signal the future of the game’s broadcast: the record-setting number of viewers who streamed the game. According to Nielsen, the Buccaneers-Chiefs game was the first in history to crack 1 billion total streaming minutes and netted a minute average of 5.7 million viewers.
Super Bowl Sunday was also CBS All Access’s best day ever in terms of new subscriber sign-ups, unique devices logged in and minutes spent on the network’s streaming service, although that surge in demand seems to have crashed the platform in the early moments of the game.
Unsurprisingly, last season’s reigning NFL champion Kansas City led all metered markets with a 59.9 household rating, Nielsen’s data shows. That was followed by Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s former home turf of Boston, which registered a 57.6 household rating, and Tampa, Fla., coming in third with a 52.3 household rating.
Super Bowl LV was the first in history in which a competing team played—and won—in their home stadium, which was selected as the host site years prior to the match.
This year, Nielsen was uncharacteristically late in delivering its final ratings for the game, leading some to speculate prior to the release that this year’s Super Bowl numbers would be drastically lower than in previous matchups.