Sunday’s telecast of Super Bowl LVIII broke records for viewership on Sunday, drawing an average of 123.4 million across all platforms as the Kansas City Chiefs won an overtime thriller against the San Francisco 49ers.
According to a news release from NFL Communications, the Chiefs’ 25-22 victory against the San Francisco 49ers was the most-watched telecast in history. The game was available on CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Univision, and CBS Sports and digital properties, including NFL+.
The previous record was Super Bowl LVII in 2023, which had an average viewership of 115.1 million, according to NFL Communications.
Viewership figures are based on Nielsen Fast National data and Adobe Analytics, NFL Communications said in its release. Final Nielsen data will be available on Tuesday.
The numbers represent the average number of viewers who were tuned into the game at any given moment, Variety reported. According to Nielsen, the number of people who tuned in at any point was 202.4 million, a 10% increase from Super Bowl LVII’s total audience of 184 million, according to the entertainment news website.
The viewership for the conference championships was a hint of what was to come on Sunday, CNN reported. The AFC Championship Game between the Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens averaged 55 million viewers on CBS, while the NFC Championship Game between the 49ers and the Detroit Lions drew 56 million viewers, according to the cable news network.
The huge Super Bowl audience was related to several factors, including the game going to overtime for only the second time in the game’s history, Variety reported. Taylor Swift’s appearance at the game was also a contributing factor, given the pop singer’s romance with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and her long flight from Japan to get to Sunday’s game in time.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the halftime show headlined by Usher was also a lure for viewers. The rapper was joined on stage by Ludacris, Alicia Keys, will.i.am, Lil Jon and H.E.R.
According to NFL Communications, Sunday’s game was the most-streamed Super Bowl in history, led by a record-breaking audience on Paramount+.
Super Bowl LVIII solidified the NFL’s grip on America’s viewing audience. In 2023, 93 of the 100 most-watched programs on television belonged to the NFL, CNN reported.
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