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

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Body of ATV rider recovered from bottom of Terrace trail

BC Coroners Service investigating death of man in his 70s

VIDEO: Facebook rolls out tool to block off-Facebook data gathering

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the “clear history” feature more than a year ago

B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Vancouver Island school and difficult to remove

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Pregnant teachers fight to change WorkSafeBC compensation rules

Agency does not recognize risk to unborn babies when mother catches illness from work

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

Most Read