Sunday’s Super Bowl TV audience lowest in 15 years
February 10, 2021
By Helen Coster and Lisa Richwine
(Reuters) – Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast on CBS attracted an average television audience of about 92 million viewers, roughly 9% below last year’s National Football League championship, according to Nielsen data released on Tuesday.
The TV audience for the game on CBS, owned by ViacomCBS Inc, was the lowest since 2006. The figure includes people who watched on televisions at home and in bars and restaurants.
This year’s contest featured quarterback Tom Brady leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It was Brady’s seventh Super Bowl win.
TV viewership for the game, the biggest U.S. television event annually, peaked in 2015 at 114.4 million.
Audiences have been turning to streaming platforms in recent years, and CBS said Sunday’s contest was the most live-streamed NFL game ever. The streaming audience averaged 5.7 million people across several digital properties, the network said.
This year’s match-up in Tampa, Florida was the culmination of a season that once appeared in doubt, as the coronavirus spread through the United States and disrupted the world of professional sports.
The TV ratings decline for the game was in line with declines in viewership of NFL games this past season.
The 65,618-capacity Raymond James Stadium had the appearance of a packed crowd, with cardboard cutouts scattered between in-person fans. The stadium allowed 25,000 ticketed fans in the stands and suites for the event.
CBS said it had sold out commercial time for the game, which featured notable ads for Jeep (starring Bruce Springsteen in his first-ever commercial) and Uber Eats (featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in their “Wayne’s World” roles). A 30-second ad sold for about $5.5 million this year, about the same as last year.
(Reporting by Kenneth Li and Helen Coster in New York; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)