The Super Bowl is the most watched American program of all time, averaging 123.4 million viewers
The longest-running Super Bowl would also become the most-watched program in American television history.
According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, Kansas City’s 25-22 overtime win over San Francisco on Sunday night averaged 123.4 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms. This shatters last year’s mark of 115.1 million for Kansas City’s late-game victory over Philadelphia and is a significant increase of 100 percent.
The game was televised by CBS, Nickelodeon and Univision and streamed on Paramount+ as well as the NFL’s digital platforms.
Nielsen also said a record 202.4 million watched at least part of the game across all networks, representing a 10 percent jump from last year’s figure of 183.6 million.
The Super Bowl also attracted its largest audience in Canada with an average audience of 10 million viewers on TSN, CTV and RDS, preliminary data from Numeris confirms. Viewing peaked at 12.6 million during the halftime show, featuring R&B star Usher.
CBS’ broadcast averaged 120 million. The network’s previous mark for the most-watched Super Bowl game was 112.34 million for the 2016 game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Some of the increase can be attributed to a change in the way viewers are counted. Nielsen began including out-of-home viewers in its ratings in 2020, but only from limited markets. This measure expanded to include all 50 states starting this year.
Sunday’s game was only the second of 58 Super Bowls to go into overtime. The previous time was in 2017, when New England overcame a 28-3 deficit and beat Atlanta 34-28.
“I was controlling my expectations, but I had little hope that it would happen,” CBS Sports President Sean McManus said of the overtime, which was set up when San Francisco forward Jake Moody’s extra point was blocked in the fourth quarter. It kept it a three-point game. “I can’t imagine a better or more exciting Super Bowl than this.”
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Kansas City sent the game to OT
Kansas City sent it to overtime on a Harrison Butker field goal. After the 49ers kicked a field goal on their opening OT possession, they then won when Patrick Mahomes threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman.
This Super Bowl had the added appeal of Taylor Swift in attendance. The pop star is dating Travis Kelce in Kansas City, a romance that has brought new fans to the NFL.
It was the second year in a row that the Super Bowl averaged more than 100 million viewers after a period in which four of the five games before 2023 were below that number due to cord cuts. That included 95.2 million for the 2021 Super Bowl between Tampa Bay and Kansas City, the lowest average for a TV-only game since 2007.
Univision averaged more than 2.2 million viewers, the highest Super Bowl viewership on record for a Spanish-language network. The Super Bowl has been broadcast in Spanish in the United States since 2014.
The NFL Playoffs averaged 38.5 million viewers over the first three weekends, an increase of nine percent from last year.
That came after a regular season average of 17.9 million, the second highest since averages were first tracked in 1995.
Record $185.6 million bet in Nevada
Bettors set a record by betting $185.6 million on Sunday’s Super Bowl at Nevada sports betting sites.
Unaudited numbers were released Tuesday for Kansas City’s 25-22 overtime win over San Francisco.
The amount surpassed the state’s previous high for the Super Bowl, set in 2022, by about $6 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Nevada’s 182 sportsbooks recorded $6.8 million in wins for the game, according to numbers obtained by ESPN.
The Chiefs’ victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII came in the first-ever Super Bowl in Las Vegas.