Super Bowl LV Most Streamed Game In NFL History

While this past Sunday’s Super Bowl may have had one of the lowest cable viewership’s in recent years, it made up for it in streaming numbers.

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This Tuesday CBS Sports released the total number of viewers on the network during the Super Bowl LV Game. They concluded that the game had around 96.4 million viewers on CBS itself, and a bundle of other platforms and outlets, according to Nielson. In general, this was the least-watched Super Bowl in recent history, but it was the most streamed game in NFL history, likely due to the multitude of platforms that now exist and offer live television for its users. 

Around 91.6 million people turned into CBS exclusively, making the 2021 Super Bowl the most watched show of the past year. However, these numbers show an 8% decrease in viewership when compared to last year’s numbers; the 55th Super Bowl still holds the record, however, for having the smallest network audience back in 2006, before streaming was even a concept. 

CBS, CBS Sports, NFL digital properties, Buccaneers and Chiefs mobile properties, Verizon mobile properties and ESPN digital and television properties all also showed the lowest numbers since 2007; on average all parties are down by around 5% from what last year’s Super Bowl game was able to bring in. Andy Billings, director of the sports communication program at the University of Alabama recently spoke with the media about how it’s difficult to determine the actual number of viewers for any sports game due to multiple people attending one viewing.

“There are a lot of people who go to Super Bowl parties and while they’re technically viewers, they’re more so along for the ride.”

The numbers that are currently being spread regarding Super Bowl LV were compiled by Fox, Fox Deportes, the NFL, and Verizon digital properties as well. While many headlines are calling this the least-watched Super Bowl in recent years, the Game itself is still going down in history as one of the most live-streamed Super Bowl games ever. Streaming services reported an average of 5.7 million viewers per minute; a 69% increase from last year’s high. 

Viewership aside, the Buccaneers and Raymond James Stadium now have bragging rights for years, as this past Sunday’s Game was the first time the Super Bowl was won by a team playing on their home turf. Quarterback Tom Brady also broke his own record as the oldest Super Bowl-winning QB at the age of 43. 

Brady is also the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl in three different decades and the first player to receive multiple champion titles after turning 40. Buccaneers’ assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar made history as the first female coaches to win a Super Bowl as well. 

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“In terms of the history books, the 31-9 blowout by the Buccaneers over last year’s champs wasn’t the most lopsided win ever, however, it sure felt like it at times Sunday.”

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The major decline in viewership, however, when compared to how many individuals would tune into the Game in recent years unfortunately makes sense. The Covid-19 pandemic has obviously caused a slew of technical and cultural hurdles to jump through to make the Game happen. The fact that 22,000 fans were also allowed to be in the stadium itself, despite the fact that America is still dealing with the worst phase of the pandemic yet, caused a lot of citizens to lose interest completely in watching this year. 

The two teams are also not exactly considered top market teams, which also caused many viewers to lose interest. The NFL in general has seen a 10% drop in their total ratings this season after two years of continuous increases. Players, coaches, and everyone working behind the scenes have been arguing for months over how to continue the Game with the pandemic, as well as a major racial justice movement in which the NFL has found itself at the center of. 

The most watched Super Bowl in history was 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX, where the New England Patriots took on the Seattle Seahawks. That Game brought in a little more than 114 million viewers, breaking the previous year’s record set by the Seattle Seahawks as well when they took on the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl XLVIII, bringing in around 112.2 million views. 

This past Sunday’s Super Bowl also marked the first time a Canadian-born performer took the stage for the halftime show. The Weeknd did an amazing job performing some of his biggest hits throughout his career, and while there are currently no stats out regarding how many people were tuned into his performance, it’s safe to say it was just as exciting as the Buccaneers win.