Super Bowl ratings hit an 11-year low as live TV events continue to bleed viewers

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
  • This year’s Super Bowl was the lowest rated in 11 years.
  • But televised events have been declining in ratings in recent years, and the Super Bowl is still huge in viewership compared to other telecasts.

The lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever also hit an 11-year ratings low on Sunday.

The big game – in which the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 for the team’s sixth Super Bowl victory – scored 98.2 million viewers, declining 5% year-over-year, according to Nielsen (via The Los Angeles Times). Last year, Nielsen said 103.4 million people watched the game.

It’s the lowest TV audience for the Super Bowl since 2008’s game between the Patriots and the New York Giants. And a Super Bowl hasn’t dipped below 100 million TV viewers since 2009.

CBS put the total viewers, including those who watched on streaming platforms, at 100.7 million viewers, which is down 4.5% from 105.4 million total viewers last year, according to the Times.

READ MORE: Fox’s ‘Rent’ was the lowest-rated live TV musical ever

Televised events have been declining in ratings in recent years, and not even the Super Bowl is immune.

Last year’s Emmys dropped 11% from 2017. Last year’s Oscars telecast hit an all-time low with 26.5 million viewers, down 19% from 2017. Last year’s NBA Final took a ratings hit compared to 2017. And last month’s “Rent” on Fox was the lowest-rated live television musical ever.

But the Super Bowl still has huge viewership, and nothing else on television can compare.

Last year’s Super Bowl was the highest-rated primetime telecast of 2018 by far, with an adult rating of 33.6. The NFL NFC championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings was second with a 13.5 rating, and the “This Is Us” episode that aired after the Super Bowl last year came in third with an 11.6 rating.

And the Super Bowl is still the main event for advertisers. 54 advertisers paid $US5.2 million for 30 seconds of air time this year, and there was a total of 93 ads during the game. CBS sold out all its Super Bowl commercials this year. Last year’s Super Bowl commercials produced $US408 million for NBC, according to Kantar Media.

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