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Super Bowl LVIII sets TV audience record with 123.4 million viewers

The longest Super Bowl game will also remain the most-watched program in television history.

According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday averaged 123.4 million viewers across television and streaming platforms. This broke last year’s mark of 115.1 million for Kansas City’s final game win against the Philadelphia Eagles, with a 7% increase.

The game was televised by CBS, Nickelodeon and Univision and streamed on Paramount+ as well as the NFL’s digital platforms.

Nielsen also said a record 202.4 million people watched at least part of the game across all networks, up 10% from last year’s figure of 183.6 million.

Broadcast on CBS averaged 120 million. The network’s previous mark for its most-watched Super Bowl was 112.34 million for the 2016 game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

Part of this increase can be attributed to a change in how viewers are counted. Nielsen began including out-of-home viewers in its audiences in 2020, but only in limited markets. This measure was extended to all 50 states starting this year.

Sunday’s game was only the second of 58 Super Bowls to go to overtime. The previous one was in 2017, when the New England Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

“I was managing my expectations, but I had some hope that it would happen,” CBS Sports President Sean McManus said of Sunday’s overtime session, set up when San Francisco kicker, Jake Moody, had an extra point blocked in the fourth quarter. this kept the match at three points. “I can’t imagine a better or more exciting Super Bowl than this one.”

Kansas City sent it into overtime on Harrison Butker’s basket. After the 49ers scored a field goal on the first possession of OT, the Chiefs won when Patrick Mahomes threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman.

This Super Bowl had the added appeal of Taylor Swift. The pop superstar is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, a romance that has brought new fans to the NFL.

It was the second year in a row that the Super Bowl averaged more than 100 million viewers after a period where four of five games before 2023 failed to reach that figure due to cord cutting. That included 95.2 million for the 2021 Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which was the lowest average for the big game only on television since 2007.

Univision averaged more than 2.2 million viewers, the highest audience ever for a Spanish-language network. The Super Bowl has been televised in Spanish in the United States since 2014.

The NFL playoffs averaged 38.5 million viewers over the first three weekends, a 9% increase from last year. This followed a regular season average of 17.9 million, tied for the second-highest since averages were first tracked in 1995.

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