- By Emma Saunders
- Entertainment journalist
This year’s Super Bowl was watched by an average of 123.4 million people in the United States, making it the most-watched broadcast since the 1969 moon landing.
Preliminary U.S. television ratings put Sunday’s game second only to the historic Apollo 11 landing, which was seen by an estimated 125 million to 150 million people.
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime.
Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated appearance to see her boyfriend Travis Kelce may have boosted the numbers.
There was much speculation in the run-up to the event about whether Swift would return from Japan, where she had been performing on tour.
According to Variety, there is some debate over the impact it had on viewership, but consumer research firm Numerator concluded from a flash poll that 20% of Super Bowl viewers supported the Chiefs due to the singer’s relationship with Kelce.
The cameras were certainly enjoying the Swift factor, including footage of the star entering the arena, hanging out with actress Blake Lively and rapper Ice Spice, and kissing Kelce after the match as they celebrated the victory.
Of this year’s viewers, 112 million out of an average of 123.4 million watched the game on CBS, with the rest tuning in to digital channels Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Univision, CBS Sports and NFL.
According to media analysts Nielsen, a record 202.4 million people watched at least part of the game.
This year’s numbers may also have been helped by the fact that Nielsen changed the way it counts people watching from home – for example with friends or family, or in bars.
Last year’s Super Bowl game between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles was watched by 115.1 million viewers.
The fact that the Chiefs were defending their championship and Usher putting on the halftime show were also big draws this year.
The pop star’s guests included Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Will.i.am, Lil John, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri.
Usher continued the celebrations later by tying the knot with longtime partner Jennifer Goicoechea in Las Vegas, where the Super Bowl was being held.
The couple got married at Vegas Weddings’ Terrace Gazebo, an outdoor wedding chapel that can accommodate 30 guests, according to People.
“We can confirm that Usher and Jennifer Goicoechea took the next step in their relationship and got married on Sunday evening in Las Vegas surrounded by close friends and family,” a representative for the singer told the publication.
“They both look forward to continuing to raise their children together, surrounded by love and thank everyone for their well wishes.”
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