Super Bowl Viewership Was Up, But There Was a Bigger Win for NFL

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Chiefs' Super Bowl victory over the 49ers was watched by an average of 102 million viewers, according to FOX. This number, which combines all platforms, is the 10th-highest in history.

According to Gil Brandt, the FOX-only number averaged 99.9M viewers, up 1 percent over last year.

A year-over-year increase is a win regardless in 2020, but especially for the Super Bowl. Often left out of the conversation of Super Bowl ratings is that annual events that reach the largest of audiences are extra vulnerable to the changes in television viewing habits. And, of course, no event, game, or show reaches the masses compared to the Super Bowl. That's why the Super Bowl had declined for four-straight years coming into the game.

The score late, the players involved, the teams playing, and the pregame hype are all still factors that could adjust the numbers -- but slightly. Overall, the days of the Super Bowl reaching 110 million+ could be over. That is out of the NFL's control.

Perhaps the bigger win for the NFL is which team won. As Curt Menefee and I discussed last week, the Super Bowl stage is a coming-out party for quarterbacks. It's an introduction to a different type of viewer. Mahomes was already the NFL's best player. And that Super Bowl victory puts him en route to being the next individual ratings draw.