Super Bowl LVIII Records the Biggest Viewership in TV Ratings History

The longest Super Bowl game in television history will also be remembered as the most viewed show ever.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday attracted an average of 123.7 million viewers across broadcast and streaming platforms, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. That was a 7% rise above last year’s record of 115.1 million for Kansas City’s game-winning touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tuesday’s figures were updated by Nielsen, which on Monday night had released an initial estimate of 123.4 million.

The NFL’s digital outlets as well as Paramount+ and CBS, Nickelodeon, and Univision streamed the game.

A record 202.4 million people watched the game in its entirety across all networks, according to Nielsen, a 10% increase over the 183.6 million who watched it the previous year.

Averaging 120.3 million people watched the CBS telecast. The Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers game in 2016 drew 112.34 million viewers, setting a record for the most watched Super Bowl on the network.

A modification in the method of counting viewers may be responsible for a portion of the rise. In 2020, Nielsen started to include viewers who were not at home in their ratings, although only for a small number of areas. Starting this year, that measurement was extended to all 50 states.

Out of the 58 Super Bowls, Sunday’s match was the only one to go into overtime. The last one took place in 2017, when the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 after coming back from a 28-3 deficit.

Of Sunday’s overtime session, which was prearranged after San Francisco kicker Jake Moody had an extra point blocked in the fourth quarter to keep the score at three points, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus remarked, “I was managing my expectations, but I had a bit of hope that it would happen.” “I can’t imagine a Super Bowl any better or more exciting than this.”

Harrison Butker’s field goal put Kansas City into overtime. The Chiefs prevailed when Patrick Mahomes hit Mecole Hardman with a 3-yard touchdown throw after the 49ers had made a field goal on the first play of overtime.

The presence of Taylor Swift at this Super Bowl was an extra bonus. The NFL has gained new followers as a result of the pop star’s relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

After four of the five Super Bowls prior to 2023 failed to draw as many people due to cord-cutting, the game averaged over 100 million viewers for the second year in a row. This included 95.2 million for the Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl in 2021, the lowest TV-only average for the big game since 2007.

With an average of almost 2.2 million people, Univision achieved the highest-ever Super Bowl viewership for a Spanish-language network.Since 2014, the Super Bowl has been broadcast in Spanish in the US.

Over the first three weekends of the NFL playoffs, 38.5 million people watched on average—a 9% increase over the previous year. That came after an average of 17.9 million for the regular season, which was tied for the second-highest since averages were first recorded in 1995.

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