Could Super Bowl LVIII become the most-watched ever?
After a record year for the NFL, Sunday’s big rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers certainly has the potential to break viewership records.
Currently, the most watched Super Bowl in history is actually last year’s Chiefs-Eagles game, which was watched by over 115 million people. It is also the second most watched TV program in history.
Given the league’s considerable incremental gains over the course of the regular season, Super Bowl LVIII is unlikely to blow that audience out of the water, but it could surpass it to claim the crown. This is due to a myriad of things, including the fact that the Chiefs are competing for their fourth Super Bowl ring – and their third in five years. And, possibly, Taylor Swift.
No matter what happens, we can expect an impressive audience from the Super Bowl.
Of the top 25 most-watched TV programs in American history, 18 Super Bowls are on the list. This includes last year’s Chiefs-Eagles matchup, which, in addition to taking the crown for Super Bowl viewers, is also the second-most watched TV program of all time.
The only program to beat it? The Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 was watched by more than 150 million people. So far no other program has even come close to touching that record.
Four of the last five Super Bowls have ranked in the top 25 and over the years, 12 Super Bowls have attracted more than 100 million viewers.
At the moment, it needs more than 92 million viewers to crack the top 25, which is a tough metric for TV. That’s why, as time goes on, it’s very likely that even more Super Bowls will earn a spot on this list. These days, American soccer is the only thing that can draw an audience even half its size.
See below for the viewership numbers managed by each of the top 25 TV programs of all time.
Last year, the NFL managed its best regular season in years, which bodes well for a record-breaking Super Bowl LVIII. Across all sports, the regular season averaged 17.9 million viewers across linear and digital platforms.
This is the most since 2015 – tied with 2010 for the second-best season on record, which dates back to 1995. The most watched game of the season was Commander-Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, with over 40M tuning in.
Viewership in terms of total viewers increased by 7% year-over-year, while viewership in key demographics increased by 4% to 10%. The number of viewers under 35 was the highest since 2019.
It was not just the regular season that achieved strong viewership. In fact, nearly 56 million viewers tuned in to watch the Chiefs reach another Super Bowl in the most-watched AFC championship ever. The NFC Championship received its best audience since 2012 with approximately 57 million viewers. A week earlier the Chiefs had defeated the Buffalo Bills in the most-watched NFL divisional playoff game ever, with over 50 million viewers.
The NFL also set a streaming record with the Chiefs-Dolphins Wild Card Game, which was exclusive to Peacock. It is now considered to be the most streamed live event ever in the US
Deadline previously found out why this season was so great for the NFL, and it involves a number of factors, including close, well-matched games and rising star power among players and their inner circle.
The Chiefs, in particular, boast several of the game’s biggest names like Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes. Eagles center Jason Kelce will undoubtedly attend the Super Bowl in support of his brother, as well as Taylor Swift. More on that later, but seeing all these familiar faces on screen certainly won’t hurt.
Since the NFL has seen increases throughout the season, it’s fitting that the Super Bowl will see a similar increase. If that happens, he will easily top it.
Contrary to popular belief, the NFL has No Devoted a lot of time to featuring Swift on screen at Chiefs games. For the AFC Championship, the pop star was only featured for 44 seconds in the entire game.
However, his influence on everything lately can’t be denied. What is particularly interesting is that many of the sports in which they participate have seen significant increases in female viewership.
For example, the first three games of the season featuring Chiefs-Jets aired on NBC increased viewership of girls aged 12–17 by 53% from the season average. The number of women aged 18-24 also increased by 24% and women aged over 35 increased by 34%.
Overall, the NFL said the regular season saw a 9% increase in female viewership, the highest female viewership ever recorded in the NFL (since recording began in 2000).
The Swift Effect is not specific to the NFL. As shown below, any event Swift hosted in the past year has seen huge increases in TV viewership, including the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and even her cameo. Saturday night Live To introduce Ice Spice.
There has been discussion online for weeks about whether Swift would be able to make it to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl after a four-day visit to Tokyo for her Erasure Tour. Even the US Embassy in Japan has assured fans that it is completely possible.
But, really, it doesn’t matter whether he’s there or not – or how long he’s on screen. Just the idea that she could be there is enough to increase viewership as fans hope to catch a glimpse of her cheering on her boyfriend Travis Kelce in the big game.
Perhaps most importantly, Super Bowl LVIII is shaping up to be a great game.
This Sunday marks the Kansas City Chiefs’ fourth title appearance in the last five years, and a win would be their third in the same time frame.
A win on Sunday would also be their fourth-ever Super Bowl win – a feat only a few teams have accomplished. The others are the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.
Having already won eight consecutive AFC West titles (the second-longest streak of division championships for any team since 1970), it is safe to say that a Chiefs victory on Sunday will solidify the team as a dynasty.
In particular, this is a big game for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This is his fourth Super Bowl appearance, tied with Joe Montana and Peyton Manning for the third-most Super Bowl appearances for any quarterback. He has also played in the AFC Championship Game in the last six years, meaning he has never missed that divisional title game as a starting quarterback.
All told, the Chiefs are still underdogs in the upcoming game. According to oddsmakers, the 49ers are the betting favorites to win on Sunday.
Despite this, the game is unlikely to fail – meaning the NFL wins no matter what. As one NFL source told Deadline after the regular season, it’s the “really close-fought games, really competitive games, with often really great finishes,” that attract (and retain) massive audiences. Have the power to keep).
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