The ratings for Super Bowl 55 are in, and the news is not good. The numbers show that viewership fell nine percent, making the game the lowest-rated Super Bowl in more than 50 years.
“CBS averaged 91.629 million TV-only viewers for the Buccaneers’ blowout of the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, the game’s lowest TV viewership since ’06 when Steelers-Seahawks averaged 90.75 million on ABC. That figure is down from just over 100 million TV-only viewers for Chiefs-49ers last year,” Sports Business Daily reported.
But that is not the worst of it. Sports Media Watch also published the ratings numbers for the entire history of the Super Bowl and this year’s ratings crash is precipitous. According to the numbers, the 2021 ratings (38.2) are the lowest since 1969 (36.0). And Super Bowl 55 is the first game falling below the 40.0 ratings mark since the 1990 Super Bowl between San Francisco and Denver (39.0).
However, digital numbers were up 65 percent this year, proving that TV viewing continues to migrate away from broadcast TV and to streaming and mobile outlets.
Entering Sunday, Super Bowl ratings had topped a 40 rating for 30-straight years. Sunday’s game was just the seventh in Super Bowl history (55 games) with less than a 40.
— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) February 9, 2021
Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand noted that Super Bowl 55’s numbers are “hard to spin” into a “positive story.”
“It’s hard to spin these Super Bowl ratings into a positive story. The numbers are down despite a highly-touted matchup of star QBs, snowstorms in the Northeast, etc.,” he tweeted Tuesday.
It’s hard to spin these Super Bowl ratings into a positive story. The numbers are down despite a highly-touted matchup of star QBs, snowstorms in the Northeast, etc. But…
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 9, 2021
However, Ourand also noted that despite the lower numbers, the Super Bowl would have earned the biggest audience of stand-alone broadcasts for the year. He also pointed out that all regular TV viewership is off seven percent overall.