Two high-profile offenses and a dramatic ending to Super Bowl LVII gave the Fox television show the ingredients for the third largest audience in the game’s history, according to preliminary viewership figures.
Nielsen data shows that the Kansas City Chiefs’ 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles was watched by an average of 113 million viewers. The broadcast from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, just slacked the previous record set in 2015 when 114.4 million viewers watched the New England Patriots’ 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks on NBC.
Fox had the second most watched Super Bowl in 2017 when 113.6 million viewers watched the New England Patriots lead the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. If the final number is tallied, Super Bowl LVII could surpass that number.
Viewership includes 7 million people watching on streaming devices, a number that has added to Super Bowl totals in recent years. The total also includes 951,000 viewers who watched the Spanish language broadcast of the game on Fox Deportes.
The number for the game — consistently the most-watched program of any genre each year — cements the NFL’s status as the most enduring and reliable television property, attracting the kind of large audiences that scripted television shows or awards programs can no longer reach.
While the duel was promising as it featured the top-ranked teams in each conference – and historic as two black quarterbacks started the NFL’s championship game for the first time – the close finish and constant action helped Super Bowl LVII near the attendance record .
The close competition on the field had an additional subplot of drama late in the first half when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appeared to aggravate the high ankle sprain he has been playing with since the division round playoff game on Jan. 21.
Mahomes, who was named MVP of the game, led the Chiefs down the field in a 35-35 tie in a drive in the fourth quarter. Harrison Butker kicked a field goal for the win with just seconds on the clock.
The 73 total points scored are the highest since 2018 when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33.
Advertisers paid an average of nearly $7 million to run a 30-second in-game commercial.
according to a Fox Sports representative. According to market research firm Kantar, NBC commercials spent an average of about $6.5 million last year.
The show featured the usual series of celebrity-filled commercials produced for the game.
A crowd favorite, according to USA Today’s annual ad counter ranking, was online pet food company Farmer’s Dog’s spot, which portrayed a long-lasting bond between a dog and its owner, accompanied by singer Lee Fields’ soulful track “Forever.”
The game was also likely helped by a much-lauded halftime performance by pop and hip-hop star Rihanna, who afterwards ignited social media by confirming she’s pregnant with her second child. The audience for the television show grew to 118.7 million viewers during its performance.