Different matchup sends viewership up
A more competitive game and two new teams whose quarterbacks are fresh faces helped drive ratings growth for Super Bowl LIV, played at Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock Stadium and broadcast on Fox.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers drew 99.91 million viewers, up from the 98.2 million viewers earned from last year’s Super Bowl LIII featuring a low-scoring contest between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, the lowest viewer count in a decade. However, Super Bowl LIV fell short of the 103.4 million viewers earned by Super Bowl LII two years ago on NBC when the Patriots were beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles. Numbers peaked at 103.5 million viewers in the 8:45-9 p.m. CT window.
On the Programming Insider website, I predicted the game would draw 97.2 viewers – some 2.7 million off.
The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes led a comeback victory over the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, giving the team their first Super Bowl victory in five decades, the last one in 1970 in Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings.
In terms of ratings, the game drew a 41.6 household rating and a 69 household share.
In Canada airing on CTV, TSN, and RDS (a French-language sports net in Quebec), Super Bowl LIV drew a record 9.5 million viewers across all three channels.
Among the local markets whose teams were involved in the game, the Chiefs Super Bowl victory drew a 55.7/89 in Kansas City, the highest rated program in the market since the Royals’ World Series championship in 2015, earning a 60 rating with both airing on Nexstar-owned Fox affiliate WDAF. The market peaked with a 62.6/97 in the final quarter-hour of the game.
In San Francisco, Fox-owned KTVU earned a 48.6/83, but ranked outside of the top ten. Kansas City led all the metered markets followed by Milwaukee, Nashville, Denver, and Boston (Chicago numbers were not available, nor for host market Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.) What’s notable here is, the Game 7 matchup between the San Francisco Giants and Royals drew a higher rating in San Francisco than this year’s Super Bowl (58.3). A resident of San Francisco until 2014, the 49ers played an hour’s drive south in Santa Clarita, Calif., which is actually closer to San Jose where the NHL’s Sharks play.
Among adults 18-49, Super Bowl LIV drew a 29.9 rating and 38.7 million viewers, down from the 31 rating from Super Bowl LIII, scoring the lowest numbers in the demo since 1992 (the same was said with the numbers last year.) The game earned a 34.2 rating in the key 25-54 demo, down slightly from Super Bowl LIII.
The halftime performance featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira drew an eye-popping 103.2 million viewers. In Canada, the numbers peaked at 12.1 million viewers.
As far as streaming is concerned, Super Bowl LIV drew a total of 3.4 million viewers, up 30 percent from last year, and drew a total of 757,000 viewers for Spanish-language net Fox Deportes. Add all the numbers up, and the Super Bowl drew a grand total of 103.1 million viewers.
In all, Fox earned a whopping $600 million in revenue from the Super Bowl, the largest amount in a single day in the network’s 33-year history.
The Super Bowl lead-out this year was a new season Fox’s The Masked Singer and drew 23.7 million viewers and a 8.1 rating in the adult 18-49 demo, up seven percent in viewers and 16 percent in demo from CBS reality competition series World’s Best, but down from the 27.9 million viewers and 9.3 demo rating from 2018’s lead-out This Is Us.
Sports Media Watch and Twitter contributed to this report. Updated at 10:38 p.m. to add Canadian ratings information.