Last year, a record 114.4 million viewers on average enjoyed Super Bowl XLIX, between the Patriots and Seahawks. This year, the numbers were down because the game was less compelling, but the audience was still gigantic.
According to CBS, an average of 111.9 million watched the game, with a peak of 115.5 million between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. ET.
As big as the Super Bowl audience has become, the question that comes up every year for me is this: What is everyone else in the country doing at that time?
FOX has the game next year in Houston, and after that NBC in Minnesota. The size of the audiences will be driven largely by the size of the markets represented in the game and the perceived (and actual) competitiveness of the game.
While Sunday night’s game wasn’t a shootout, tension permeated most of the game, with a nagging sense that the Panthers eventually were going to find the gas pedal and win the game easily.