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Super Bowl Ratings Dip by Over 5 Percent

Brian Giuffra
Tom Brady.
Tom Brady. / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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Tom Brady's seventh Super Bowl win turned out to be the least interesting of the bunch. That, in turn, led to a major downtick in ratings for the most-watched television event of the year.

CBS announced today that 96.4 million people tuned into Super Bowl LV, which the Bucs won 31-9 over the Chiefs, including "record-setting digital numbers." In the Chiefs' win over the 49ers in the Super Bowl last year, FOX drove an average viewership of 99.9 million viewers. However, if you include streaming, the 2019 Super Bowl averaged 102.1 million viewers, which is 5.5 percent decline year over year.

It's also important to note, CBS said the audience came, "across all platforms, including the CBS Television Network, CBS Sports and NFL digital properties, Buccaneers and Chiefs mobile properties, Verizon Media mobile properties and ESPN Deportes television and digital properties."

CBS also highlighted that this was the most live-streamed game ever with an average of 5.7 million viewers watching per minute, which they said is up 65 percent over last year's game. FOX averaged 3.6 million streamers.

According to Mike McCarthy, TV viewership was 91.6 million viewers, which is the lowest number since 2006.

The most-viewed Super Bowl in NFL history was the Patriots' win over the Seahawks in 2015 with 114.4 million viewers. That game featured the Seahawks trying to win back-to-back titles and Brady trying to get back on top of the NFL. It was a competitive game throughout and featured one of the most improbable finishes as Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson on the goal line to seal the Patriots' comeback win.

When Super Bowls are uncompetitive, ratings tend to fall. This also follows a trend from the playoffs, which saw viewership declines across the board in the Wild Card and Divisional rounds. The AFC Conference Championship was down 2 percent in viewership year-over-year while the Packers-Bucs NFC title game was up 9 percent.

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