Super Bowl LV Scores Smallest Audience Since 2007

CBS had Brady vs. Mahomes on Sunday — but the game did not live up to the hype


Super Bowl LV drew 96.4 million total multiplatform viewers on Sunday, when 2021’s big game aired on CBS. That all-in tally was down 5% from 2020’s Super Bowl and the lowest since 2007. It includes a ton of platforms: the CBS Television Network, CBS Sports and NFL digital properties, Buccaneers and Chiefs mobile properties, Verizon Media mobile properties and ESPN Deportes television and digital properties.

Despite the marquee quarterback matchup, Super Bowl LV was a pretty boring game. It was mostly noncompetitive, and the Kansas City Chiefs played sloppily. Tom Brady, who was named the game’s MVP, threw for just 201 yards in the winning effort. He had three touchdown passes (two to former New England Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski) to zero interceptions. That was more than enough for the comfortable 31-9 victory.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive unit was arguably the real most valuable player(s) last night, keeping Patrick Mahomes on the run — when he wasn’t on the ground, that is. Brady scored his record seventh Super Bowl ring last night. He’s now three ahead of Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw — and still playing.

Last year’s Super Bowl LIV drew 102 million viewers counting Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox’s, the NFL’s and Verizon’s digital properties. Fox’s broadcast channel racked up 99.9 million of the 102 million. Spanish-language channel Fox Deportes added 757,000 viewers.

The year-ago Super Bowl was the 10th most-watched Super Bowl in history, up 1.3% from 2019. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s 2020 halftime performance averaged 103 million viewers.

Super Bowl LIV in 2020 had a 41.6 household rating, and was watched in an average of 50.2 million homes. That’s 69% of the homes that had televisions in use at the time.

CBS did not provide a comparable level (or really, any level) of granularity for 2021’s big game. We will get more context from Nielsen later on Tuesday.

Super Bowl LV was the most live-streamed NFL game ever, CBS said.

In 2007, the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears. Slightly more than 93 million Americans tuned in to watch that one.

The most-watched Super Bowl — and telecast, for that matter — isn history is 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, which averaged 114.4 million total viewers.

Remember that nail biter? The New England Patriots topped the defending champion Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in dramatic fashion, when Russell Wilson threw an interception in the final minute from his opponent’s one-yard-line.

Queen Latifah’s new drama “The Equalizer” debuted immediately following the football. “The Equalizer” started at 10:38 p.m. ET.

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