The numbers are in, and the National Football League’s biggest game of the year — during this season of Covid — failed to top 100 million viewers this year.
While the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss at this year’s Super Bowl was a disappointment for many, the number of viewers who tuned into the annual event was also fairly disheartening.
Deadline reports that the game saw a total of 96.4 million viewers on CBS and across other platforms and outlets, per Nielsen data, with this being the least-watched Super Bowl since 2007. Total viewership was down 5 percent from last year’s event when the Chiefs won over the San Francisco 49ers; that one was slightly ahead of 2019’s numbers, which counted 100.7 million across a number of CBS and NFL platforms.
Still, with 91.6 million tuning in on just CBS, the 2021 Super Bowl became the most-watched show of the past year. And on the digital side, LV was the most-livestreamed Super Bowl in history, averaging 5.7 million views per minute, a 69 percent boost from 2020, which previously set the record. Also of interest, the game saw a higher TV rating in Boston than Tampa, with 57.6 percent of all TVs in Tom Brady’s former market tuning into the event, while Tampa drew 52.3 percent.
Nielsen typically provides data for events like the Super Bowl but experienced an uncommon delay in releasing the numbers, which didn’t arrive until Tuesday. To date, the most-watched game has been 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX, where the New England Patriots faced off against the Seattle Seahawks with 114.4 million people watching.
In a major disaster for the Chiefs, the Kansas City team lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game many thought would be more evenly matched. Patrick Mahomes’ mother and fiancée later responded to the loss on social media, with his fiancée Brittany Matthews replying to ESPN and SportsCenter memeing her partner, “Cool ESPN, love the support of a major sports platform for one of the best players in the league.”
Brady’s last Super Bowl win in 2019 while with the Patriots generated roughly 98.2 million viewers; the lowest since 97.5 million tuned into the 2008 Super Bowl.