Super Bowl Draws Its Smallest Audience Since 2007

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It would appear that Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day was a resounding success.

While millions tuned in to watch Patrick Mahomes fail miserably at collecting a second consecutive Super Bowl title, others flooded social media and made it a point to call out the NFL for its mistreatment of Kaepernick, its continued history of racial discrimination and the questionable characters that the league continues to employ.


As it turns out, the Super Bowl had more than its fair share of detractors and disinterest this year, with CNBC releasing the final viewership numbers that leave quite a bit to be desired:

Super Bowl LV attracted 96.4 million viewers for ViacomCBS on Sunday, the company announced Tuesday, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. It’s the lowest watched Super Bowl since 2007, when the Indianapolis Colts played the Chicago Bears, another CBS broadcast. That game attracted 93.1 million viewers, according to Octagon’s media division data provided to CNBC.

Damn, it didn’t even crack 100 million viewers? Ouch.

But all hope is not lost, however, as CNBC reports that while Nielsen ratings were dismal, CBS did see a jump in streaming numbers:

Even though the overall viewership totals were a disappointment, CBS did tout growth in internet streaming of the Super Bowl. The company said the stream averaged 5.7 million viewers per minute. The game streamed through CBS’s All Access service. Later this year, All Access will change to Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s new streaming service that is designed to take on leaders like Netflix and Disney+.

Don’t get it twisted, though; with roughly 91.6 million viewers on CBS alone, the Super Bowl was still the most-watched show within the past year. It was just far more likely that unlike previous years, you probably didn’t bother to even watch it. Yet despite the less than stellar ratings, Dan Cohen, senior vice president of Octagon’s global media rights consulting division, still sees the production as a win.

“All things considered, the fact this game got played is nothing short of a miracle,” he told CNBC. “And the fact that you had Brady and Mahomes in the storylines going into it was the NFL’s greatest dream.”


It was a dream, alright. A dream that apparently a lot of people had no interest in watching.



People have way more options with their entertainment choices, nowadays. All sports ratings have been trending down for a couple of years now as well. Add to this that fewer young people are becoming dedicated watchers of traditional sporting events. There were fewer parties, bars to go to, and get-togethers this year, so naturally, people who only watch the Super Bowl found it easier to skip.