Super Bowl reaches 100.7 million people, down from 2018

It was the smallest audience in nearly a decade

The New England Patriots’ competitive but action-starved Super Bowl victory over the Los Angeles Rams was seen by 100.7 million people on television and streaming services, the smallest audience for football’s annual spectacle in a decade.

A boycott by disgruntled New Orleans Saints fans, a campaign by fans of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a game with only one touchdown combined to shrink the audience. On CBS alone, the game was seen by 98.2 million people, compared to 103.4 million who watched on NBC last year, according to the Nielsen company.

Since reaching a peak of 114.4 million viewers for the Patriots’ 2015 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the Super Bowl audience has slipped each year since. The Super Bowl is traditionally the most-watched television event of the year in the U.S., and its audience hadn’t dipped below 100 million since the Pittsburgh Steelers-Arizona Cardinals game in 2009.

READ MORE: Patriots outlast Rams 13-3 to win Super Bowl

CBS dealt with a city that held a major grudge. Many fans in New Orleans, where the hometown Saints were victimized by a blown referee’s call toward the end of its loss to the Rams in the NFC championship, skipped the game entirely. Preliminary ratings from New Orleans showed that Super Bowl viewership this year was half what it was in 2018.

New Orleans’ Times Picayune newspaper printed a mostly blank front page on Monday with the words, “Super Bowl?” What Super Bowl?”

The newspaper asked, “you think the NFL is sad that the Saints weren’t in it to spice up the night?”

There was also a campaign on Twitter by people who said they would not watch the game because of Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who hasn’t been able to land a job in the NFL since leading demonstrations in protest of police treatment of minorities.

After a season of offensive fireworks and conference championships that both went into overtime, Sunday’s game was a defensive struggle where the teams were tied 3-3 entering the fourth quarter. That’s a tough slog for the casual fan, and the Super Bowl draws millions who don’t watch football regularly.

At one point CBS commentator Tony Romo said, “this is hard to watch.” Others were blunter still. The website The Ringer said that “the historically boring Super Bowl sent football back to the Stone Age.”

Cindy Boren of The Washington Post wrote that it was “a snore of a Super Bowl.” The New York Times headlined a story: “How boring was the Super Bowl? The punts got exciting.”

The words “boring” and “Super Bowl” appeared in the same tweets more than 70,000 times in the past 24 hours. The words “worst” and “Super Bowl” were matched more than 50,000 times.

If anything, football fans have been spoiled by a string of competitive Super Bowls after many years in which big game blowouts became commonplace. This year the game’s outcome was in doubt until the final seconds, but it had only one touchdown and few scoring threats.

READ MORE: General Motors disputes UNIFOR’s Super Bowl ad

The one growth area for CBS was streaming. The network said an average of 2.6 million people streamed the game, up 31 per cent over last year.

CBS did achieve its goal of having a large audience sample its new talent show, “The World’s Best.” Nielsen said 22.2 million people watched the show’s debut, the most-watched entertainment show since the Oscars last year and the biggest entertainment premiere on TV since “Undercover Boss” debuted after the Super Bowl nine years ago.

___

Associated Press reporter Eric Carvin in New York contributed to this report.

David Bauder, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lacombe author Fran Kimmel to attend Words West of the 5th in Rimbey to celebrate Culture Days

Rimbey to celebrate Culture Days with renowned writers, photographers, musicians

Rimbey Christian School welcomes new teacher

New faces at Rimbey Christian School

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Judge finds Alberta couple not guilty in toddler son’s death

It was the second trial for the Stephans, who were found guilty by a jury in 2016

Alberta couple charged in toddler son’s death to learn fate from judge

David and Collet Stephan are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life

Alberta government pitching that small rural areas pay for policing: NDP

Those 291 districts represent about 20 per cent of the Alberta population

Alberta inquiry into oil and gas foes could face legal challenge from Ecojustice

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has repeatedly accused U.S. charities of bankrolling efforts

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

Most Read