Super Bowl LVIII ratings: One for the record books

Patrick Mahomes wins his third Super Bowl trophy.

Kansas City Chiefs were not the only winners; so were CBS, Univision, and Paramount Global

For the first time in nearly two decades, we have a repeat Super Bowl champion as the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII in a thrilling game against the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime – the second overtime game in Super Bowl history. It’s the team’s fourth Super Bowl title in history and their second straight.

Patrick Mahomes won the Most Valuable Player award (to go along with his Most Valuable Bundler Award from State Farm. Ha Ha.)

But also a winner was CBS and parent Paramount Global, and linear TV as a whole. According to Nielsen final ratings released Tuesday, Super Bowl LVIII set an all-time viewership record with 123.7 million tuning in for the entire game across all platforms, topping the previous record set by Super Bowl LII in 2018 (118 million for the Eagles-Patriots, which includes other platforms and out-of-home). Of course, comparisons can be a little dicey as Nielsen started counting out-of-home viewership.

T Dog Media predicted 117.8 million for the game.

CBS drew 120.3 million on its network alone – a record in its own right. Univision’s Spanish-language coverage also set a record in that universe with 2.3 million, given past telecasts were on specialty Spanish-language networks, and Nickelodeon’s kid-focused telecast drew 1.2 million.

The Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce romance helped boost the NFL’s ratings among female viewers.

The halftime show with Usher was also a ratings winner, earning 129.3 million viewers, up seven percent from Rihanna’s halftime show last year. In all, an impressive 202.4 million unduplicated viewers tuned in to either all or part of the game – the most in television history.

Super Bowl LVIII also set ratings records in Canada, drawing ten million viewers across CTV and cable sports networks TSN and RDS. All are owned by Bell Media.

No ratings records were set in Chicago however, as the game drew a 40.6 household rating for CBS-owned WBBM-TV, far short of several high-rated sporting events in the market’s history including the Bears’ Super Bowl victory and the Cubs’ Game 7 World Series clincher. Nationally, the game did a 42 household rating and 81 share with a 35.9 rating in adults 18-49. Local Kansas City and San Francisco ratings were not available.

In an old-school move, CBS launched a new drama Tracker Sunday night after the game but due to its length, did not start until after 11 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. here. Ratings for the premiere were not available.

The Taylor Swift Effect

Demos for the Super Bowl were up across the board, especially among the female audience: women 18-24 (+7%); girls 12-17 (11%); women 25-54 (6%). Overall, the female audience was up eight percent from last year, drawing 58.18 million viewers with women accounting for 47 percent of Super Bowl viewership, a new record.

The female viewership spike comes no doubt due to pop music superstar Taylor Swift, who is currently dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Her appearance at games to support her beau boosted awareness of the NFL among casual fans and added a nice storyline to the team’s quest for a third Super Bowl title in four years. But even without Swift, those numbers would have grown anyway given the increased interest in the NFL among women – before the world’s most famous musician started dating Kelce.

Overall, the adult 25-54 audience – the main selling demo for non-entertainment programming, drew 49.06 million eyeballs, up three percent. But bigger gains were made in the adults 18-49 demo (48.5 million, +6%) and adults 18-34 (22.66 million, +8%). Among adults 55+, 49.74 million tuned in, up eight percent from last year.



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