Super Bowl LVII on track to be the third most watched with 113 million viewers

The Kansas City Chiefs’ rally to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII is on pace to become the third most-watched television show in history, with an estimated 113 million viewers, according to preliminary figures released Monday.

Fox said the estimated audience includes broadcasts on Fox and Fox Deportes, as well as broadcasts on the Fox and NFL digital sites. Figures come from Nielsen Fast National data and Adobe Analytics.

The 2015 game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks on NBC holds the record 114,442,000 viewers (not including broadcast), followed by Super Bowl LI in 2017 on Fox between Atlanta and New England (113,668,000).

This was Fox’s 10th Super Bowl since it began broadcasting NFL games in 1994 and the second most-watched show in Fox Sports history.

It would also be a slight increase over last year’s Super Bowl average of 112.3 million. The Los Angeles Rams’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals was broadcast on NBC and Telemundo and streamed on the Peacock and NFL digital sites.

According to Adobe Analytics, this year’s digital feed averaged a Super Bowl record 7 million views, an 18% increase from last year (6 million) and more than double Fox’s last Super Bowl in 2020 (3 ,4 millions).

It was the third year in a row that the streaming average exceeded 5 million. The first Super Bowl to air, in 2012, averaged 346,000.

Rihanna’s halftime show averaged 118.7 million viewers, making it the second most-watched show in Super Bowl history. Katy Perry’s performance in 2015 has the highest mark with 121 million.

The average Spanish-language audience for the game was 951,000, a record for the most-watched Super Bowl game in Spanish-language cable television history. It was also the most watched non-soccer event in Spanish-language cable history.

The number in Spanish is below last year’s record of 1.9 million on Telemundo, which unlike Fox Deportes has broadcast affiliates in 90 markets.

The Super Bowl has been televised in Spanish in the United States since 2014.

Final Nielsen data will be available on Tuesday, including figures for English-language television only. After the Super Bowls averaged more than 100 million viewers between 2010 and 2018, four of the five games before this year fell short of that number due to service interruption. That included $95.2 million for the 2021 Super Bowl between Tampa Bay and Kansas City, which was the lowest TV-only game average since 2007.

If Sunday’s number can improve on last year’s 99.18 million, it would be the first time since 2015 that there were two consecutive years of increases.

Unsurprisingly, Kansas City and Philadelphia were the two highest ranked markets. Kansas City led the way with a 52.0 rating and 87 share, followed by Philadelphia’s 46.3/77.

The rating is the percentage of households with television tuned. Share refers to a percentage of the television viewing audience watching a particular program at that time.

Cincinnati, which lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, and Minneapolis also had 77 appearances.

The barrage of ads during what is easily the most watched television event of the year drew celebrities: Ben Affleck, Ozzy Osbourne, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Martha Stewart and the cast members of “Breaking Bad.”

Steve Williamson, a senior vice president at market research firm GWI, said surveys show trust in brands has waned this year and companies are looking to household names to boost themselves.

“There was no one major brand that took over the Super Bowl,” he said. “There were all kinds of brands, from alcohol to gambling to Jesus.”

Fox also said 15.5 million people watched the season premiere of Gordon Ramsay’s competition show “Next Level Chef” after the game. The spot after the Super Bowl is usually the most coveted time on television.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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