Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Win With Bucs Drew Higher Nielsen TV Rating in Boston Than Tampa

Kansas City was the only market with a higher Nielsen rating

Kansas City was the only market with a higher Nielsen rating
Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady of the Buccaneers celebrate winning Super Bowl LV.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Even though Tom Brady is no longer playing for the Patriots, television viewers in New England can’t take their eyes off of him.

During Super Bowl LV on Sunday evening, Boston posted a 57.6 Nielsen TV rating, beating out the 52.3 rating from Brady’s new fanbase in Tampa Bay. That rating means 57.6% of all TVs in the market were turned to the game.

The rating in Boston, which was higher than all but one of the broadcasts for the six Super Bowls that Brady won with the Patriots, was only eclipsed by the 59.9 mark the game drew in Kansas City. (New England’s 28-24 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX drew a 61 rating locally in Boston.)

While the numbers in Boston and Kansas City were strong, Sunday’s Super Bowl on CBS had the lowest TV viewership since 2006 when Steelers-Seahawks averaged 90.75 million viewers on ABC.

According to numbers released on Tuesday, CBS averaged 91.629 million TV-only viewers for the Buccaneers’ 31-9 blowout of the Chiefs. Last year’s Chiefs-49ers game on FOX averaged just over 100 million TV-only viewers.

The game performed much better on digital and averaged 5.7 million streamers per minute, a 65% increase over last year’s game and a new Super Bowl record. Including television, digital, mobile and ESPN Deportes, CBS brought in 96.4 million viewers, down from the 102.086 million Fox drew last year across all platforms.

Perhaps the dip should not be a surprise as NFL regular-season viewership averaged 15.4 million viewers, down 7% from the previous year and the first drop since 2017, according to Front Office Sports.

“It’s hard to spin these Super Bowl ratings into a positive story. The numbers are down despite a highly-touted matchup of star QBs, snowstorms in the Northeast, etc,” John Ourand of The Sports Business Journal wrote on Twitter. “But, this game will be the most viewed U.S. telecast of 2021 by a long shot. The ratings drop of about 9% is in line with the regular season ratings drop of 7%. The NFL remains as the most powerful TV product in America. The Super Bowl shows that when it comes to ratings, a competitive game matters more than any other factor.”

When it comes to the ratings in Boston specifically, it appears Brady’s presence is more important than anything else — even the team he is playing for.

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