League expects viewership records to be "shattered" by Super Bowl XLIV

Last week, the NFC title game between the Vikings and the Saints generated the highest number of viewers for any conference championship since 1982, with an audience of 57.9 million.

And a league source recently told us that the NFL anticipates that all-time audience record will be “shattered” by Super Bowl XLIV.

Last year, Super Bowl XLIII generated for NBC an all-time record audience of 98.7 million viewers.  This year, the average audience is expected to extend into nine figures, for the first time ever.

That said, the ratings record generated by the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1982 remains safe, given the extensive fracturing of the American audience by the multitude of cable channels and proliferation of the Internet.  But as raw eyeballs go, Super Bowl XLIV is expected to capture with ease the all-time record for simultaneous viewership of one event, without a single large-market team.

16 responses to “League expects viewership records to be "shattered" by Super Bowl XLIV

  1. Isn’t it amazing how empires crumble just after the peak of their popularity? It’s because of greed usually, and the NFL is no exception. Enter 2011 strike. No viewership and turned off viewers.

  2. Halftime, we’ll hear Roger Daltry singin: “Who are you? Who dat? Who dat? Who are you? Who dat? Who dat?”

  3. Just curious as to what the rationale was — the League expects something unprecedented to take place, yet never expresses the underlying justification(s) for it.
    Aside from Manning, the Colts don’t bring too much “sexy” to the table.
    And a number of people might pull for the Saints due to their team and city being so downtrodden for lots of reasons. Plucky underdog factor thing there.
    Not saying it won’t happen — just would like to hear just why the League is so confident the record will be shattered.

  4. “Not saying it won’t happen — just would like to hear just why the League is so confident the record will be shattered.”
    Offense, my friend. Most people who don’t watch football on a regular basis, and who dont have a true appreciation for the game, want to see lots of scoring and lots of fireworks. A chess match isn’t enough for them. They want to be entertained, and the NFL knows this. Hence, the many rule changes designed to protect QB’s and keep offenses moving.
    What the NFL doesn’t understand is that the very integrity of the game is being compromised because of their idiotic thought processes.

  5. I imagine this is based on “if you build it they will come” philosphy. The league thinks if they say everyone will watch then everyone will WANT to watch.
    The facts are this; Saints are as beloved as the media beleives, Katrina is long ago history in todays “now” world. Manning is thought of as a tool by many football fans and are sick of seeing him. The trouble in neither scenario is there a villian or underdog.
    In addition to the underwhmeling interest in the individual teams and the individual players we have the Pro Bowl factor. Lets be real, is anyone going to be able to recover by the following Sunday to watch another fantastic, exciting, edge of you seat big game? The Pro Bowl will drain most of us of the energy to watch the Superbowl. The take away is this; the Superbowl will get average ratings, because of average teams and well that DAMN Pro Bowl.

  6. Like every year, I’m looking forward to what is going to make this game the “greatest (game, Super Bowl ) ever.” After it’s over, that’s how Peter King, Mike Lupica and host of others will refer to it. Happens every year.

  7. I dunno but the commentors on this site has to be the most idiotic of all.
    This Playoff season has to be the most boring in history. With blowout after blowout the games still set massive viewership numbers.
    Now you got two great stories one driven by one of the greatest QBs ever, and the other driven by a city that has been through unbelievable adversity who also happens to have a marque QB.
    Two big time QBs and two opportunistic defenses. That’s a draw to everyone….Anything can happen and either team can and will put up tons of points and no lead will be safe.
    When’s the last time two big time offenses played in the SB? Look it up… Steelers/Cardinals Def/Off …Giants/Pats Def/Off…Colts/Bears Off/def…Going all the way back to the classic that was Rams/Titans.
    This is the most potent set of offensive matchups ever for a SuperBowl. Also happens to be the 2 teams who almost went undefeated.

  8. “Offense, my friend.”
    DOPES! Viewing records have been set for the past 2 years in all sports because of the recession. Millions of Americans are sitting at home not working. DOPES!!!

  9. “DOPES! Viewing records have been set for the past 2 years in all sports because of the recession. Millions of Americans are sitting at home not working. DOPES!!!”
    I hope you’re joking

  10. Not joking at all. World Series, Super Bowl, and even opening day NBA all set records because millions more than usual are watching because they are out of work. THAT is why they expect to break records.
    People actually have PRIORITIES, and when they are out of work, they watch free TV! DUH!

  11. Re expectations of shattered viewing records – this is one year I won’t be watching. Not me, not this year, can’ do it, can’ do it!!! (shades of Singletary) –
    First my Pack gets knocked out and then my Favrian Vikes.
    Got no more energy, none, zip, zilch, nada, nuthin’. Still feel like I’ve been hauled up in a skyscraper elevator and dropped in a free-fall to the bottom – twice. Gonna take all offseason to get geared up for regular season.
    ‘Course before that, I’d like to see how the new rookies look in preseason.
    But before then, of course, there’s the Combine. And I’ll hafta start boning up for the draft, with weeks of fore and aft conjecture and argument, etc., about the choices. And I do set aside a special, exclusive Ted Thompson Week of Analysis …
    Rats. I can feel it creepin’ back in on me. I’m gonna hafta crank one eyelid open to look in on the stupid SB.
    Only next year the right teams better be in it!

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