A slow-paced Super Bowl LIII drew an average television audience of less than 100 million, according to Nielsen, marking the first time in a decade that the NFL’s title game fell short of the benchmark.
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A linear audience of roughly 98.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the New England Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. It was the lowest-rated Super Bowl since 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. That game averaged 97.4 million viewers.
CBS, which broadcasted the game, said it drew a total audience of 100.7 million across all platforms, including CBS and NFL digital properties and ESPN Deportes. The game’s streaming audience grew year-over-year.
Super Bowl viewership has now declined four consecutive years dating back to 2015, when Super Bowl XLIX drew a record 114.4 million viewers. Pundits attributed this year’s ratings decline to the lack of offense, which produced the lowest scoring Super Bowl on record.
Nielsen said its preliminary estimates showed that 67 percent of U.S. homes watched the broadcast.
CBS did not disclose ratings during the Super Bowl halftime show, which featured Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi. As expected, ratings were particularly strong in Los Angeles and Boston.
The Super Bowl regularly ranks as the most-watched television broadcast of the year.