A lot, but not as many as they used to. The Super Bowl is by far the most anticipated match in all the American sports and it acts as a magnet for casual and veteran punters. It is the highlight of the year for anyone who loves American football and people make sure they don’t have plans on the day of the match. Year after year, the number of people watching the Super Bowl has increased, until 2015 and in 2019 the show was hit by the sharpest decline in more than a decade.
100 million viewers is a bridge too far
The best proof that past performance can’t predict future results is that only 98.2 million people have watched the game on TV. This is a sharp decrease from last year when 103.5 million people have watched the match and a big dip compared to 111 million in 2017 and 2016. Super Bowl fans were attracted by the 2015 match in the highest numbers ever, as 114.4 million people witnessed the New England Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks. That was a remarkable game, pretty much the opposite of the 13-3 result of 2019, the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history.
Hitting the psychological threshold of 100 million viewers shouldn’t have been a problem, even with roughly 2,000,000 people watching the game on stream. If we were to factor in those numbers, things look slightly more promising, but the 2019 viewership is still the lowest in a decade. The good news for CBS is that the cost of the 30-second advertisement went up slightly, compared to the 2018 figures.
Live streams keep the dream alive
Some of those who chose not to watch the Super Bowl in 2019 did something else on the fateful night the Patriots won another trophy. Others simply chose to trade the TV broadcast for live streaming and watch the unauthenticated stream across several platforms. Those who had a CBS subscription streaming service were able to watch the Super Bowl there and this is the manner in which the younger audience prefers to enjoy sports. The numbers speak for themselves and with a sharp increase of more than 80% on Super Bowl Sunday, it is obvious that people simply found a more convenient way of watching the game.
Celebrating the good news is the right way of going through life, but this doesn’t mean that the best stuff should be ignored. Many people expected the 2019 Super Bowl to be dull affair and they were spot on in their assumptions. The game left a lot to be desired and except for those who have placed a bet on a low scoring match, most fans were disappointed. There were other contributing factors for the sharp decline in the 2019 viewership, such as the NFL boycotts. The New Orleans Saints fans’ decision not to watch the game to protest for their team’s treatment was the final nail in the Super Bowl’s viewership coffin.