This Super Bowl Shattered Viewing Records

NFL's biggest game of the year averaged 123.4M viewers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2024 8:26 AM CST
This Year's Super Bowl Was Most-Watched Telecast Ever
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Sunday in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

It was the longest Super Bowl ever, but that wasn't the only record broken in Las Vegas on Sunday during the NFL's biggest game of the year. The matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, which ended with a 25-22 overtime win for the Chiefs, drew 123.4 million viewers—the largest number of people ever watching the same broadcast. Before this game, the biggest broadcast of all time was last year's Super Bowl, featuring the Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, which saw 115.1 million viewers. As Variety notes, the numbers from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics indicate the "average number of viewers who were tuned in at any given moment during each game." When looking at the number who viewed any part of Sunday's broadcast, 202.4 million watched—a 10% jump from last year.

That wasn't the only record broken: About 112 million watched the game on CBS, which was the biggest audience ever for one network. The AP notes that before Sunday's game, CBS' most-watched Super Bowl was in 2016, when the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos played; that game saw an average of 112.3 million. The Chiefs-49ers game also aired on the football league's digital platforms, as well as on Paramount+, Univision, and Nickelodeon, which the New York Times reports aired a "child-friendly telecast." The paper, which notes the Nielsen ratings are preliminary (the final tally is due out Tuesday), asserts the game "had a lot going for it" to draw viewers, including an overtime finale with a touchdown pass for the win, an "elite Kansas City team with a superstar quarterback" (Patrick Mahomes)—and yes, the attendance of KC tight end Travis Kelce's girlfriend, Taylor Swift. (More Super Bowl LVIII stories.)

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