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How many people watch the Super Bowl? Explaining Super Bowl TV ratings in USA, around the world | Sporting News

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There’s a reason it costs $7 million for an advertiser to have 30 seconds of screen time during the Super Bowl.

In the United States, the NFL is king. Its viewership numbers dwarf any other regularly scheduled programming. None of the other sports could hold a candle to the views a random Thursday night game between two terrible NFL teams receives.

The Super Bowl is the Ozymandias of TV programs, the king of kings. There is nothing that gets remotely close to the viewership the Super Bowl gets on an annual basis. Football fans watch it. Non-football fans watch it. There are parties designed for people to sit around and watch it. 

But just how many people will tune in to watch the Super Bowl? Here’s what you need to know.

How many people watch the Super Bowl in USA?

There were 114.2 million people tuning in for the Super Bowl when the Chiefs beat the Eagles last year, according to Sports Media Watch, which set a viewership record. 

Across all platforms, it’s reported there were 115.1 million viewers. Dating back to 2009, there have only been three Super Bowls that dipped under U.S. viewership of 100 million: Patriots-Rams in 2019, Buccaneers-Chiefs in 2021, Rams-Bengals in 2022. However, including viewership across all platforms, it has been well over 100 million viewers every year since 2008.

How many people watch Super Bowl around the world?

The international numbers for the Super Bowl are impressive, though not typically comparable to other global sports phenomenas like the World Cup. There was an international audience of over 56 million for the Chiefs vs. Eagles Super Bowl, according to the NFL, which was a seven percent increase over the prior year’s Super Bowl.

Overall, the Super Bowl was carried live in 190 different countries or territories and broadcast in over 25 languages.

“Global interest in the NFL continues to accelerate, and these numbers reflect the exciting growth in our sport around the world,” Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business, Major Events & International, said in the release. “The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of our season and a must-watch cultural event. It’s fantastic to end the year with so much momentum as we look towards next season.” 

How do Super Bowl TV ratings work?

TV ratings are different from viewership numbers. Viewership numbers are the amount of people that are watching it. Ratings are the percentage of TV households that are watching a given event at a time.

So, while Chiefs-Eagles had the most views at 114.21 million, the highest-rated Super Bowl remains the 49ers-Bengals, when the ratings set a Super Bowl record of 49.1, indicating 49.1 percent of TV households were watching the game.

There are other factors that are important to consider when looking at viewership numbers and ratings. As noted by Sports Media Watch, Nielsen used to measure out-of-home viewing as a separate category. Because of that, technically the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl in 2017 had the most views with 123.94 million, topping the Chiefs-Eagles from last year. Before then, out-of-home tracking was not considered a metric at all. 

Most watched Super Bowls ever

Official viewership

Year Matchup Network Views (millions)
2015 Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 NBC 114.44
2023 Chiefs 38, Eagles 35 Fox 114.21
2014 Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 Fox 112.19
2016 Broncos 24, Panthers 10 CBS 111.86
2012 Giants 21, Patriots 17 NBC 111.35

TV ratings

Year Matchup Network Rating
1982 49ers 26, Bengals 21 CBS 49.1
1983 Redskins 27, Dolphins 17 NBC 48.6
1986 Bears 46, Patriots 10 NBC 48.3
2015 Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 NBC 47.5
1978 Cowboys 27, Broncos 10 CBS 47.2

Total across all platforms

Year Matchup Network Views (millions)
2017 Patriots 34, Falcons 28 Fox 126.3
2018 Eagles 41, Patriots 33 NBC 119.9
2020 Chiefs 31, 49ers 20 Fox 118.5
2015 Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 NBC 115.8
2023 Chiefs 38, Eagles 35 Fox 115.1

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