Although 17 Super Bowl records were set in Sunday’s riveting game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, the size of the audience was not one of them. The Eagles’ 41-33 nail-biter win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII averaged 103.4 million viewers on NBC. This makes it the least-watched football championship since 2009. This year’s ratings dropped 7.1 percent from last year’s 111.3 million people who watched the Patriots win their fifth Super Bowl title when they beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime on Fox. The Super Bowl audience was set at 114.4 million when the Patriots also beat the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 on NBC. This decline in viewership is in line with declines the NFL faced during the regular season. The average audience for an NFL game for the 2017 seasons was 14.9 million viewers, a nearly 10 percent decline from the 2016 regular season, which was down 8 percent compared with 2015. The playoffs also saw lower ratings. It isn’t just football: the Grammy Awards audience slipped by 24 percent and the Golden Globes dropped 5 percent. The Super Bowl still draws by far the biggest audience on television, and advertisers shelled out more than $5 million for 30 seconds of commercial time during the big game. It was the 10th most-watched program in U.S. television history, behind eight other Super Bowls and the finale of “M.A.S.H.”
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