Super Bowl viewership drops sharply from last year

Super Bowl Party Cancelled Due To COVID-19
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In 2020, the Chiefs erased a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to win the Super Bowl. In 2021, the Chiefs didn’t even score 10 total points in the Super Bowl.

The difference in interest in the two games showed in the viewership numbers.

After a delay in the release of Nielsen figures that caused many industry observers to fear that the Super Bowl LV viewership numbers would fall far short of Super Bowl LIV, they did. Via Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Group, the total audience (including out-of-home viewership and all streaming platforms) averaged 96.4 million. Last year, that number reached 113 million.

The depressed number comes from one basic reality: The game stunk. Although ardent football fans continued to watch the Super Bowl because: (1) it’s the Super Bowl; and (2) Patrick Mahomes has a history of erasing big deficits quickly, the casual fan was likely to move on to something else — especially after the first half.

The ongoing pandemic nevertheless makes the TV performance of the game more vexing. What else were people doing? For the pinnacle of such a quintessentially American sport, the notion that more than 230 million Americans were doing something on an early-February Sunday other than watching the game should be regarded as alarming by the powers-that-be.

At a time when the NFL seems to be obsessed with the development of audiences in other countries, there’s plenty of meat still on the U.S. bone. Maybe, just maybe, the game would benefit more from efforts to come far closer to saturation of the domestic market.

The Nickelodeon broadcast of the Bears-Saints playoff game surely represents a step in that direction, with the league focusing on spreading the football virus to a younger crowd. The league needs more of that kind of creativity in order to get the numbers to where they could be. To where, given the broader connection between football and our broader society, they should be.

143 responses to “Super Bowl viewership drops sharply from last year

  1. I’m sure the NFL will do what it needs to rig… er, fortify the integrity of the game in the offseason.

  2. Turned it off after the horrible halftime show…..for me at 74 it was not the least bit interesting enough to give it a chance. The refs favoring the Bucs and Brady was enough to cause me to bail. If Brady is playing this is what you get no O line holding by his team and phantom roughing the passer calls. I don’t think I am alone . People are sick of Brady and the league favoring him.

  3. How many more people are unemployed this year compared to last? There are like 20 million more people out of work this year that have other things to do. Imagine if we have a real president before Jan 20th that focused on the country instead of personal benefits….

  4. But Bruce Springsteen said to “reunite”… gag! If you need to “reunite” you’re the problem.

  5. From start to finish, pre-game, production, the game, halftime… it all stunk. I thought for a while I was getting ready to watch a political convention instead of a football game.

  6. Brady is 2 things: 1. Undeniably great and 2. undeniably boring. Plus the game was boring, the halftime show was boring, and it’s the Bucs.

  7. I will only accept so much of the racial/political crap (from advertisers as much as the NFL) before I turn off the switch. They almost hit it too. I was pleasantly surprised during the season when they backed off a little, but they brought it back in spades for the SB. THAT may be the reason people turned it off at halftime.

  8. Perhaps folks are tired of being lectured to. We aren’t fans of the NFL for their stance on politics, & or, social issues. We watch because we love football.

    It’s no secret why ratings are down. Focus on football & leave the other stuff to outlets, & platforms for those issues. Offending a significant portion of your market, has never been good for business, any business.

  9. When watching most any program on television or viewing anything on social media it seems this new cultures of anti establishment etc is the only way. Well some things, such as ratings statistics cannot be manipulated (yet). You have a game and commercials with undertones, a halftime show that is, well, I’m not even sure what to say about it and the real, normal fan is turned off.
    I cannot hardly watch anything anymore, the news, TV shows with commercials, and certainly not the news. Sports used to be a place to escape and enjoy. Now it’s just another “platform”. Hopefully this will start to die down and the NFL will figure out where it’s viewership bread is buttered.

  10. No mention of the relentless, divisive, guilt trip politics the NFL is pushing?

    Come on, man.

  11. Or you willfully refuse to realize and discuss why most of my friends who stopped watching the NFL over the years see. It’s rigged. So many changed the channel this year once could coukd tell who the NFL decided who they wanted to win this year. Minutes into the broadcast Tony Romo said “The Chiefs hold” and gave an example.

    I’m 52. I’m done with it.

  12. Turned it off after the horrible halftime show…..for me at 74 it was not the least bit interesting enough to give it a chance. The refs favoring the Bucs and Brady was enough to cause me to bail. If Brady is playing this is what you get no O line holding by his team and phantom roughing the passer calls. I don’t think I am alone . People are sick of Brady and the league favoring him.

    —-

    KC averaged 7 penalties a game in the regular season. In 4 other games this season they had 10+ penalties. They were the second most penalized team in the league in 2020.

    But lets pretend the league wanted Brady to win because you have sour grapes.

  13. I like how some people declare victory that 96 million people watched the Super Bowl. The 17 million people who didn’t watch? That boils down to 15% of viewers left for orange ideology.
    Unlike the article it’s obvious I believe most of that was for political reasons and those people are a minority of a far larger group of people. You 15% aren’t quite as important as your overlords said.

  14. The NFL buried themselves at the beginning of the year when they involved politics and unaccountability to the National Anthem and showed complete disrespect for the military and the flag. That is why they begin each game with the anthem and does not represent anything else… period. This is something they need to evaluate this off season and come back to the basics of what history has worked for them. The comments by the analysts need to be focused only on football related discussions and the message is clear to the NFL that many Americans are fed up with the behavior of these players on and off the field. Sundays are meant to escape from the long week of work and escaping from the world we are caught up in by media bs. Return to football and you will find a renewed following.

  15. Perhaps folks are tired of being lectured to. We aren’t fans of the NFL for their stance on politics, & or, social issues. We watch because we love football.

    It’s no secret why ratings are down. Focus on football & leave the other stuff to outlets, & platforms for those issues. Offending a significant portion of your market, has never been good for business, any business.

    ==========================================================================================================================

    Except it isn’t a significant amount. It’s a tiny fraction of people. 15%.

  16. It wasn’t a particularly close or exciting game. No surprise viewership was done. If you want to blame someone, blame Todd Bowles.

  17. Vasteelerfan says:
    February 9, 2021 at 9:38 am
    Turned it off after the horrible halftime show…..for me at 74 it was not the least bit interesting enough to give it a chance. The refs favoring the Bucs and Brady was enough to cause me to bail. If Brady is playing this is what you get no O line holding by his team and phantom roughing the passer calls. I don’t think I am alone . People are sick of Brady and the league favoring him.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    I’m sure you called out the refs last SB as well, right? You know, when all the flags were in the Chiefs favor.

  18. I actually the halftime show was unique. Not great but definitely creative. Better than most, especially last years horrible one.

  19. Defense wins rings. Offense wins dollars. The bigger problem is the downward trend. Lower cap. No fans. Sports is our escape. Lots of people, including myself, have found better things to do on Sunday. I can get the highlights and score on my phone while playing with my son. Everything is at your fingertips.

  20. I know several hardcore football fans who didn’t watch a game of football this year. All the SJW political crap has turned off a sizeable amount of the fan base. For a Super Bowl featuring Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes to get less than 100 million fans when a good portion of the country is stuck at home tells you something. You can pretend it was the score but plenty of Super Bowl’s have been blowouts and still gotten over 100 million viewers.

  21. cmoney4949 says:
    February 9, 2021 at 9:42 am
    How many more people are unemployed this year compared to last? There are like 20 million more people out of work this year that have other things to do. Imagine if we have a real president before Jan 20th that focused on the country instead of personal benefits….

    ***********

    You did not make the point you think you did. Regardless of it it’s true or not.

    Unemployed people don’t suddenly have a ton of things to do that they can’t get away for a game/TV on a Sunday.

  22. Two reasons for the low ratings;

    1) Look back through previous SB ratings. Since Deflategate….any time Tom Brady is playing in the SB…the ratings drop. They think he cheats…whether he actually does or not….people won’t forget the deflategate saga. The public at large…is over Tom Brady.

    2) All the way around CBS did a horrible job. Pre show, game coverage, announcers favoritism for particular players, halftime show, post game coverage etc…. NBC is the best network to watch football on. Best cameras, best coverage…

  23. Forget about the game quality, people are tired of not only seeing Tom Brady in every other Super Bowl for the past 20 years, but are even MORE tired of seeing him win. By halftime this became clear and whoever was watching, went back to their lives rather than watch another re-run.

  24. Politics, race, “woke” all reared their ugly head again on the broadcast. No thanks. I tapped out.

  25. Game was boring, the political messages were guilt ridden and heavy handed, and the half time show was full of guys with jockstraps on their heads.

  26. I didn’t watch, this whole season has had the smell of “Vegas” involved in every game and ever since the eagles went for 2 to cover the spread on seahawks it just has put a sour taste in my mouth. Also When you got the first team ever playing a superbowl at their home stadium let alone with TB12 at QB, then its pretty obvious who was going to win.

  27. Lets be honest, the NFL focused it’s broadcast toward a specific racial group. Between the opening performers, political messages, half time show, etc. there is no denying that. Unfortunately for them, 73% of this country is not in that particular group, and the ratings reflect that.

  28. These comments are ridiculous–

    That same “political crap” has been going on for years, so it’s not that. Get woke go broke is something yt people say to make themselves feel better about being non-empathetic and uneducated.

    If you’re turning off the game because of politics, you understand neither Football nor politics; it’s twisting your sense of reality, seek help.

  29. I was waiting for Springsteen to take a knee during the Jeep commercial – what a pathetic halftime show along with the commercials –

  30. I have watched a lot less football from the time players started kneeling

    Roger Goodell could mess up a solid steel ball

  31. If it was the Vikings getting their rear ends handed to them people would not have turned the channel at halftime,they would have stuck around and cheered every TB touchdown.unfortunately that opportunity wont come any time soon.

  32. Hey NFL, believe it or not, people want to watch a fair game where officiating isn’t controlling the outcome. We’re not the brakes brainless zombies you think we are. Keep shoving agendas and forced outcomes and we’ll find something else to do.

  33. I know why I didn’t watch the pregame or 2nd half. POLITICS! Sports is supposed to be a break from the real world, but they did it at the draft and continued it here. People are worn out with it.

  34. The lowest viewership numbers in 14yrs and what it doesn’t tell you here is that tucked inside those numbers is the viewers per minute numbers which was 5.7mil meaning people were popping into check the score and then leaving, they weren’t staying to watch!

    Now 96.4mil viewers sounds good but considering it was the lowest in 14yrs(2008) and that the viewers per minute only averaged 5.7mil that’s S=A=D, SAD!

    Not to mention they lost their 8 biggest commercial ad buyers this year because of all of the social backlash, they said not having commercials was better than people taking commercials the wrong way so they lost a ton of money there too!

    GET WOKE GO BROKE!

  35. The league should be concerned that the ratings could have been worse with a Bills-Packers matchup.
    ======

    Most of New York would have tuned in at some point. There are 22 million people in the NY Metro area alone.

    And as every NFL city knows, the Packers have fans across the country.

    I’d bet Packers-Bills easily top 96 mil.

  36. For anyone who thinks the halftime show stunk…you probably weren’t the target age for it.

    I watched the game with my kids and their friends–four 17-year-olds and one 12-year-old. All of them thought it was really good. They knew most of the songs played. That’s who the halftime show was for…younger adults. This is how the NFL tries to attract a younger audience, by making the halftime show an event that these folks want to see. What’s wrong with that?

    I’m 51, so it wasn’t my kind of music. But let’s be real…no one wants to see the Stones or the Who anymore. Even though that IS my kind of music, I don’t even want to see them play a live performance anymore.

  37. If you’re turning off the game because of politics, you understand neither Football nor politics; it’s twisting your sense of reality, seek help.
    —–
    I think they turned the game off because football, like TV shows and movies, is entertainment. No one wants to be lectured by their entertainment. Kind of defeats the whole purpose.

  38. COVID insanity, “woke” politics, demonic halftime show, awful flag football rules…the Super Bowl, like anything else allowed to be broadcast these days, is unwatchable garbage at this point.

  39. Maybe it’s because people want to watch a game. Instead we’re bombarded by politics. I was watching the Australian Open. No politics. No agendas.

  40. Nielsen’s methodology is flawed so don’t trust any number they put out.
    They are a joke and if it didn’t benefit the Advertising Agencies / Advertisers they would have been out of business years ago.

  41. I watched each team have the ball once and turned on the movie Die Hard. That’s how interesting I found the game.

  42. It’s not so much the game that stunk (there is such a thing as a good low scoring game), it’s that the country is growing away from the NFL in general. The phony glory and drama is boring and somewhat offensive. The commercials were totally uninspiring, they could not tell a story or get their point across. Will Farrell attacking Norway with a Cadillac EV? What? What a waste of time. Plus the multiple messages to avoid groups and the constant drumming of what an evil country we have been, all make it a lot easier to tune out. Me, I had to shovel snow.

  43. I hated that “poet” in pregame. They’re doing everything they can to inject her into our lives… first the inauguration, now the Super Bowl. What’s next?

    We get it. She’s a young, fairly attractive, black woman who you’re trying to make the figure head of something much bigger than her reach. She writes poems…but MOST, not all, MOST of America aren’t particularly big fans of poems. So, you get a majority of people wondering why they continue to go out of their way to put her in front of our eyeballs??

  44. If the NFL and media stopped being led like a dog searching for woke cookies, I bet things would rebound nicely.

  45. Most of the “politics in football” comes by way of certain types of people complaining about politics in football.

    The irony is outstanding.

  46. I’m sure all the whiny Republicans turned it off when Joe Biden said basically gave us the presidential version of coach-speak for a minute.

  47. But lets pretend the league wanted Brady to win because you have sour grapes.

    Excuse me excuse me my grapes are not sour I paid good money for those grapes. The super bowl is usually where the refs let the players play and only throw the flag in obvious situations…..the game game I turned off at halftime was not like that. The Chief could have been the most penalized team in regular season but drum roll….this wasn’t the regular season. As to last years game that was last year and we are discussing this year…pay attention.

  48. The NFL is owned and run by privileged white men. The players are 80% Black. The wealthy white ownership owner refuse to hire black coaches or GMs.

    The ads and NFL messages these commenters write about are not political. They are about equality, fairness and kindness, something a large number of commenters here don’t seem to care about. They are comfortable not thinking about people who are not like them. Equality is not political.

    The NFL rode the wave of cable TV and cashed in. The media market is too fractured, there are too many options. Look at the layoffs at ESPN and other networks. Do you think those networks are going to continue to fork over billion of dollar to a diminished NFL?

    Sports fans are the biggest suckers. A large part of the fees they pay to cable, steaming and satellite go fo sports. People are sick of paying for media they used to get for free and don’t watch–the 230 million who didn’t watch the Super Bowl.

    The only recent thing that has perked up interest in sports is online betting. But that will be screwed up too with the bookmakers pushing prop bets. Just look at the Super Bowl–there were millions of dollars bet on the coin toss. Yes, the coin toss. It’s a random 50-50 bet, a true sucker bet, yet millions do it. They are probably the same guys who complain on here about the NFL being too political. It’s very painful to think and evolve. so sit back, pop open your Bud Lite, and watch the sinking ship known as the NFL. Go down with the ship.

  49. Want higher ratings? Get a rock band for the halftime show. Someone like AC/DC, Foo Fighters, or any rock band. Even My Chemical Romance would be an improvement over the previous halftime shows.

  50. daysundone says:
    February 9, 2021 at 10:22 am
    These comments are ridiculous–

    That same “political crap” has been going on for years, so it’s not that. Get woke go broke is something yt people say to make themselves feel better about being non-empathetic and uneducated.

    If you’re turning off the game because of politics, you understand neither Football nor politics; it’s twisting your sense of reality, seek help.
    _____________________________________________

    NAH, what’s ridiculous is people like you thinking the social justice warriors message of today is anything like the politics of the past, IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE!

    Football fans aren’t going to put up with multi-millionaire players getting in our faces during a game and telling it’s mostly white viewers how we’re racist and white supremacist or telling us how oppressed they are with their millions!

    So it is you that doesn’t understand and you help because you aren’t seeing reality, OH and you also need some better schooling, what ever schooling you have now has really failed you and if I were your parents I’d be demanding my money back!

    BTW to those that claim Brady being in the SB turns people away, NO IT DOESN’T because love him, like him or hate him people tune into to watch Brady whether it’s to win or get his azz beat! Also they were estimating this year SBs to have one of the highest viewer numbers because of the QB matchup and that didn’t go as planned either.

    So the question is will the NFL wake-up and drop all of this SJW stuff next season, whatever they do I feel it’s too little, too late and most of those that’ve tuned out won’t be coming back no matter what the NFL does, there isn’t a bigger waste of time on this planet than sitting around watching a game where there’s only 10min of actual playing time BUT it takes 3 1/2hrs to play/watch it!

  51. I don’t know about anyone else, but I cut the cord and stream. Do those numbers count in the final tally? Because we watched on two devices – one at home and one at work.

  52. It was a dull game, I mean I’m sure there is some percentage of people offended at the prospect of being asked to respect all types of people that tuned out, but I doubt that was the majority. KC looked like they were playing a preseason game and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about watching something else by the start of the 4th. Lots of flags, terrible KC special teams plays, handsy KC defense, and a very overmatched KC OLine made for a sloppy one sided game and those are never fun.

    I think this game taught us what it’s like to be a Jets fan.

  53. It’s not because of Brady. He has played in some of the highest rated super bowls of all time. It’s definitely because of the politics. Everyone is stuck at home, too. Look at what happened to the NBA.

  54. daysundone says:
    February 9, 2021 at 10:22 am
    These comments are ridiculous–

    That same “political crap” has been going on for years, so it’s not that. Get woke go broke is something yt people say to make themselves feel better about being non-empathetic and uneducated.

    If you’re turning off the game because of politics, you understand neither Football nor politics; it’s twisting your sense of reality, seek help.

    Your exposing yourself. The knee-jerk reaction is anyone who is not liberal is non-empathetic and uneducated. Instead of discussing the issues, you categorize people, exactly what we are trying to get away from with racism. You are perpetuating the concept!

  55. One thing a lot of people don’t want to hear is that viewership of most (if not all) pro sports is probably down.

    When I was a kid, most of my friends paid attention to pro sports, especially football. Nowadays, few kids do. There are just too many other entertainment alternatives to grow the audience. And it’s probably been like this for years.

    Even my youngest son, who is interested in football, half-watches a game while mainly paying attention to a device in his hand.

  56. “blowpackblow says:
    February 9, 2021 at 9:35 am
    Maybe people are sick of all the “politics”. I have an idea, just play the game.”

    Can’t say this enough….. people were turned off by all the crap… STICK TO FOOTBALL and the ratings will be fine!

  57. Hiring a black coach because he is black is discriminatory against the person who should be hired because of his aptitude for the position.

    Hiring a coach that has the aptitude to coach these men is the goal.

    Tod Boles is a great Defensive Coach – not good as a HC.
    Josh McDaniels is a great Offensive Coach – not good as a HC.

    See how it works now.

  58. Gimme a break, sure the halftime show was weak and they overdid the social justice stuff (although it was hardly controversial or “left”), but I bet two things: (1) if the game was close all those saying they turned the channel above woulda watched; and (2) I bet most of those above who said they tuned out, watched the whole game anyhow.

  59. It’s funny, it’s obvious WHY people are being turned off by the NFL from reading the comments from people here. However, the talking heads continue to ignore it (even though they claim to want to know why). Even pretending Tampa Bay is a team that has a giant country wide following, people are sick to death of the politics. The commercials were awful, nothing but wokeness and veiled divisiveness as were all the PSA’s. Sorry but “unity” is NOT telling white people (men especially) they’re bad constantly. Even PFT itself has become that same way, the comments sections have become bare. Used to be every article garnered dozens of comments. Lack of interest and over moderation I’m sure is the root of it. Doubt my comment will even see the light of day. I come here less and less.

  60. The game stunk, the pre-game stunk, and the commercials stunk. Not sure I’ll watch next year.

  61. My Dad, God bless his soul, always used to tell me that the NFL was fixed. I never believed him until I watched this years Super Bowl. It was so obvious that the Refs favored TB it was ridiculous. The PI call against KC just before the half was incredible. First of all it was a throw away under pressure, secondly it was not catchable as the pass hit the base of the wall, and third the replays didn’t show anything worthy of pass interference. All the nitpickey calls being called against KC and the same calls not being called against TB sure made you wonder. Then there was the slap to the head by Suh while Mahomes was being sacked. And of course no call for that. It really make a fan scratch their head wondering if the NFL wanted Brady to win again and on his home field. I’m beginning to think my Dad was right.

  62. People are SICK of Tom Brady! We get it..you’re the GOAT. Now please – for the love of Bob – RETIRE ALREADY!

    People see the deferential treatment he gets from the refs and they know already the fix is in and who is going to win.

  63. why is everyone who comments on these articles such a salty loser about everything? “well maybe if they kept politics out of it my snowflake self wouldnt be offended and have to pretend i didnt watch it and pretend i won’t watch a thousand other NFL games in the future as well”… boo hoo.. “well maybe if it wasnt rigged in favor of Brady more people would tune in”… wahhhhhh

  64. I watched the first quarter, read a book for most of the second and turned it off at halftime. The game was awful. There are too many entertainment options available these days. If the game stinks, people can easily find something better to do.

  65. I may be a party-of-one here, but some of my best and most vivid sports memories are from watching weekday, daytime World Series games. In school, work would be cast aside and the teacher would bring a TV in for the class to watch.
    On weekends, the family would unite and watch the next game.

    Maybe if you didn’t make your audience stay up till midnight to see the conclusion of the game, your ratings would improve. They think this time schedule is helping the ratings. Have a Sunday afternoon Super Bowl and test that theory.

  66. Politics is part of it, but let’s face it: this year’s game was dull.

    I turned it off after the Fournette TD – the game was over, I’ve seen Brady win 1000 Super Bowls already, and KC’s offense was stuck in the mud. Good night.

    I think there’s a level of Brady fatigue. It was particularly bad this year because the broadcast made it like he was 1000% why TB was winning – but the TB defense held KC without a TD and was barely talked about. Sick of that narrative.

  67. Quit watching the game in the 3rd quarter. The media oversaturated this game and made a fairy tale story between the new/old generation of QB’s which got old fast. Also the politics are just insane, regardless if you like it or not, once you bring politics of any kind into a place where people want to be entertained and forget about all the politics in our daily lives, then you are going to fail. Plain and Simple. We went out to our local Bar and Grill and EVERY SINGLE person were only watching the game to see if they won on their squares. No one liked the half time show. It seems the media and the NFL are the only ones who liked it.. The NFL is losing the viewership of the common person and no wonder, who wants to watch a game full of overpaid politicians.

  68. Sports is about sports. It’s not a smorgasbord. Politics is devisive. Any issue that’s not football does not belong in the game.

  69. Those who didn’t watch and are complaining about it somehow care enough to comment. Go do something else and leave those of us who want to watch alone.

  70. They should have played the game in the afternoon – 2 or 4 – instead of running all the pre-game programs. By the time it came on at 6:30, a lot of people were tired of the schtick.

  71. No one who just watched this super bowl is in position to talk about the few bad calls in the first half of this game. Why couldn’t Kansas City score more than three field goals? Why did the punter struggle? The Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV last season with zero offensive holding penalties called against them in their three playoff games. That is impossible. And, their line was average at best last season, especially considering Mahomes got injured at the midpoint against the Broncos.

  72. The Moon Knight says:
    February 9, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Except it isn’t a significant amount. It’s a tiny fraction of people. 15%.

    ****************************************************************************************************************

    15% may be a tiny fraction when looking at your monthly budget. However, the NFL is a 15+ Billion dollar/year business. 15% of that is over 2 BILLION dollars. 15% of NFL fans (& or former NFL fans), is MILLIONS of people. Over 10 million in fact. Those are significant numbers.

    It would be nice to be wealthy enough, you could dump on that large of a segment of your clients, & not even give it a second thought. The suits running the NFL aren’t dummies. They know this, & aware of it. So far, it hasn’t hurt their wallets enough to warrant scaling it back. That could change at some point.

    Ask the NBA how their social justice message forced down everyone’s throat, worked out..?

  73. I used to watch pregame coverage all day but it’s just not about X’s and O’s and the history of the game any more. So I just tuned in for the kickoff and not a second earlier. Once I started watching the game I lasted until the interception was overturned by a penalty and then flipped on the Peaky Blinders. I live bet everything I had on Brady and called it a night.’

  74. You make an excellent point. The game does need to come on earlier in the day.

    ———————————————–
    jrterrier5 says:
    February 9, 2021 at 12:38 pm
    They should have played the game in the afternoon – 2 or 4 – instead of running all the pre-game programs. By the time it came on at 6:30, a lot of people were tired of the schtick.

  75. I tried to watch it, but the officiating was so terrible that it looked like the game was rigged. By halftime, all three of us watching couldn’t take it anymore and turned it off. It’s the first time in probably over 20 years (maybe 30) that I didn’t watch the whole game.

  76. Heavy handed left wing propaganda, blowout game, horrible half time show and the refs finally calling penalties that should have been called all year on the Chiefs.

  77. Just my opinion, its the commercials. A lot of people used to turn in just for the commercials. The commercials havent been good for several years.

  78. Christopher Allan

    SB 54 % penalties for the 49ers 4 for the Chiefs. This year officiating was way too one sided

  79. It makes you wonder if the NFL is better off televising the super bowl on Saturdays in the afternoon. How about no bye week after the conference championships? The hype is what kills the big game every single season. Very few super bowls end up living up to their hype.

  80. Has nothing to do with the games but more to do with the teams. Tom Brady vs a Chiefs team that was lucky to get there in the first place in a rematch of a regular season game was not marquee enough. Last season there was a major storyline of “Will Andy Reid finally get a ring?” This Super Bowl had zero underdog story so people outside the two cities involved weren’t vested.

    Had Cleveland, Buffalo or New Orleans made it ratings would have skyrocketed as playoff ratings showed those teams were intriguing to fans.

  81. The way the game went doesn’t explain it – There have been a lot of Super Bowls that weren’t competitive games that didn’t deviate from viewership norms this way.

    It’s strange. Two celeb QBs, pandemic, winter weather in many places. Seems like a formula for high viewership. For it to not even be average, but this low, is odd.

    Maybe it’s just that Brady’s been there 10 times and KC & Tampa are small markets with little national interest.

  82. Saying the ratings were just lower than last year is putting lipstick on a pig, the ratings were the lowest in 14 years. NFL needs to stick to football.

  83. Unfortunately, all of the “woke” stuff where it’s not subtle turned a lot of viewers off.

  84. I think it’s hysterical that so many commenters, who take time out of their day to read articles and comments on a website called “Pro Football Talk”, claim to hate pro football.

    Just a hunch, but I’m guessing many people here who claimed to only watch the game for a little while and then turned it off because of the bad commercials, bad halftime show, or “politics” actually watched most of the game.

    Really, you turned the game off because you didn’t like the commercials or the halftime show? You know, you’re not required to watch those. Do you not have a remote with mute or channel up/down buttons?

  85. I used to watch pregame coverage all day but it’s just not about X’s and O’s and the history of the game any more. So I just tuned in for the kickoff and not a second earlier.—————————————

    Exactly what I did. Not one program could I find on X’s and O’s on Sunday prior to the game. Watched with the sound down, while multitasking. I really find after all these years as a fan that I have a pretty good idea of what is going on without the annoying talking heads. Didn’t listen to one ad.

    Never would have lasted until midway through the 4th quarter if I would have had the sound on.

  86. NASCAR made a lot of excuses when their numbers dwindled. They still refuse to admit that they ruined the product. The NFL has made the product unwatchable for a lot of people. The stadiums weren’t full before the pandemic. The games play more like professional wrestling than they do a football game. People just want to watch football and don’t want players opinions on anything. I watched a total of 5 football games last season. In years past I would watch at least 2 games a week and as many playoff games as I could. Now I don’t care if I watch it or not.

  87. How did the first quarter ratings compare this year vs last year? I can understand people tuning out if it’s a blowout, especially since there were probably more people watching at home and not at a party, but if less people tuned in at the beginning that is a problem

  88. Love all the people saying “Leave the politics/race out of the game!”. These are the same people that cheered the former President when he kept constantly bringing up the NFL in tweets and pressers.

    Trump brought all of these crap to the forefront.

  89. For me the over-officiating made my experience pretty stinky. I don’t even root for either team in the regular season. The first half was so stupidly rigged I started doing things around the house with my wife instead.

  90. It was fairly obvious to anyone who watches football what was going on once the refs started calling everything on the Chiefs and nothing on the Bucs. We have seen over the years Brady get his preferential treatment. However I kept watching because I know what Mahommes and the Chiefs are capable of but once I saw a Bucs player sack and then try and rip Mahommes head off and not get ejected is when I turned it off.

    Once the Bucs figured out that they weren’t gonna get called for penalties the game just got way out of hand …

  91. from September till the superbowl…. Scripted all the way. Everything from Brady moving to tampa… the game in tampa .. Gronk.. Brown .. etc.
    Look at all the playoof qb matchups, you couldnt script this any better if you had to. The NFL leaves nothing to coincidence. Worse than wrestelamania.

  92. All the folks who are so triggered about messages of racial justice: we will drag you into modernity whether you like it or not.

  93. No offense, but I’ve already seen Tom Brady backed by a solid defense win Super Bowls playing solid, mistake-free football. He seems like a good guy, but I’ve got “Brady fatigue” and just want to see something new.

  94. stubborndata says:

    February 9, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    All the folks who are so triggered about messages of racial justice: we will drag you into modernity whether you like it or not.

    ———————————–

    You’re not doing a damn thing but displaying a great deal of ignorance and self-righteousness.

  95. The back to back drives where ticky tack penalties allowed the bucs to score ended it for many. I’d like to see how many people turned out after brady threw the ball into the back wall and still got a pi call when the defender had inside position in the first place. It was unwatchable and I only checked score on twitter the second half. I let my wife and kid have the tv at halftime.

  96. What else were people doing? I can’t speak for others, but I was building a shed with my son. Time better spent if you ask me.

  97. Isn’t amazing that the majority of the complaints are due to politics/wokeness? GET THE HINT NFL! Stick to what your customers want, FOOTBALL!

  98. I wonder what would happen if the NFL started suing people for claiming with no proof, that their game is rigged.

    On one hand punish Brady for cheating……it is fixed…..on the other hand call jis opponent for infractions…..it is rigged.

    I just dont get these people who insist on claiming they have a valid case of greivance because their team does not win, or they have lost interest in something

    Then there’s this: “such as ratings statistics cannot be manipulated”. What? I certainly am not accusing anyone of manipulation….but ratings are not a perfect science….how does Nielson know if you or i watched the game?

    I have to take sttendance on Zoom….all the windows are there….yet it is impossible to get that number aaccurately unless we choose to ask each person…..which we don’t do.

    You think Neilsen gets it accurately?

    We need the new television tech that allows each ytv to send that info back for tabulation…..but am sure there will be uproar about that too.

  99. Here’s an idea for the NFL, tell the flag happy, control freak refs to keep their flags in their pockets and stop tilting the game to Brady. they ruined the game with all of their flag happy calls in the first half

  100. Unbiased, life-long football fan here. Didn’t have a dog in this fight. Turned the game off after Tampa’s TD before half time, following two uncatchable pass interference calls and the overturned interception which swung the game a possible 14 points in favor of TB. Those calls have no place in the SB. It was clear at that point the NFL wanted Tampa to win on their home field, with Tom, and Arians, the local healthcare workers in attendance, and all the positive optics that go along with it. You think they wanted to hand that trophy over to Andy Reid’s son that night? No chance. But let’s be fair: Tampa’s D was fantastic, and KC was troubled from the start going against them without their starting linemen. I’m happy for Tampa, especially Arians and AB getting their vindication (and Tom for that matter) and that the healthcare workers were able to enjoy a memorable night out given all they’ve done this year. I couldn’t watch it though. The Chiefs haven’t scored this low IN THREE AND A HALF SEASONS. This outcome was highly improbable. This game REEKED.

  101. Don’t worry, I’m sure people got tired of Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, and Wayne Gretzky, too. The truth of the matter is, like him or hate him, Tom Brady is great for the NFL. A lot of us younger fans never would have become fans if not for the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and Dan Marino. Quarterback play is not what it used to be, especially from the pocket.

  102. I wonder what would happen if the NFL started suing people for claiming with no proof, that their game is rigged. On one hand punish Brady for cheating……it is fixed…..on the other hand call his opponent for infractions…..it is rigged. I just dont get these people who insist on claiming they have a valid case of greivance because their team does not win, or they have lost interest in something.
    Then there’s this: “such as ratings statistics cannot be manipulated”.

    What? I certainly am not accusing anyone of manipulation….but ratings are not a perfect science….how does Nielson know if you or i watched the game? Or how many people were in our homes?
    I have to take attendance on Zoom….all the windows are there….yet it is impossible to get that number aaccurately unless we choose to ask each person due to cameras being off not everyone sitting in front of the camera, phone connections etc….. we don’t ask. You think Neilsen gets it accurately? They have less info to look at over a much broader spectrum. They are making a judgement on trends and the game itself.We need the new television tech that allows each tv to send that info back for tabulation…..but am sure there will be uproar about that too.

  103. All this talk about the game being “fixed” – guys, if every so-called ticky-tack flag was picked up, that doesn’t change the fact that the Tampa DL was a wrecking ball on every play, completely destroying KC’s entire game plan.

    This was not a game decided by a few calls. This game was decided at the line of scrimmage.

  104. So fans are upset because KC finally got flagged for holding? So basically you are okay with them cheating? That’s rich!
    Here’s a novel idea, if you don’t want flags throw, don’t commit a penalty!

  105. It’s quite simple. The Super Bowl is mainly a social event for a lot of people. We can’t do social events. So all you have left are actual football fans. The casual watcher is not sitting at home by themself watching the game, but they would probably get together with other casual watchers for a party.

  106. Bucs d played hats off. But let’s face facts people are tired of Tommy boy and the one sided heavy handed officiating was enough to turn anyone off. They stopped in the second half. Do you think the secondary started playing differently from how they play all year or the refs got told to cool it? I wonder.

    Other then that a lot of philistines on this web site.

  107. If we want to save our country, we need to do away with social media. It’s giving the wrong people a voice on both sides of the political spectrum. It also turns some of the sanest people insane. Up next should be eliminating misleading propaganda from our national news outlets.

  108. Love all the people saying “Leave the politics/race out of the game!”. These are the same people that cheered the former President when he kept constantly bringing up the NFL in tweets and pressers.

    Trump brought all of these crap to the forefront.

    ——————————————————————-

    And Trump warned them..stop promoting divisiveness, and ID politics and anti American settiment or the NFL will be trouble.

    Who was right?

  109. February 9, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    All the folks who are so triggered about messages of racial justice: we will drag you into modernity whether you like it or not.

    ____________________

    Thanks Comrade, nothing better than having to conform to others by cancelling speech and ideas

  110. “JamocaAlmondFudge says:
    February 9, 2021 at 3:45 pm
    It’s quite simple. The Super Bowl is mainly a social event for a lot of people. We can’t do social events. So all you have left are actual football fans. The casual watcher is not sitting at home by themself watching the game, but they would probably get together with other casual watchers for a party.”
    Would make sense except numbers are viewed by tvs, Not people, So 50 people at one party is measured as 1 not 50. It actually makes this years numbers even worse because people were more spread out so more tvs should have theoretically been turned on overall. If you look at views by minute it seems most people were not actively watching the game, which is even worse. It was a bad product Sunday.

  111. The same people who “don’t want politics jammed in their face” watching a football game are the same people who wear MAGA gear and fly MAGA flags all over their yards.

  112. aarons444 says:
    February 9, 2021 at 10:46 am

    The league should be concerned that the ratings could have been worse with a Bills-Packers matchup.
    ======

    Most of New York would have tuned in at some point. There are 22 million people in the NY Metro area alone.

    And as every NFL city knows, the Packers have fans across the country.

    I’d bet Packers-Bills easily top 96 mil.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    No one ever questions whether big metro areas will tune in, but when you have a less-than-marquee match-up, the question is whether you lose casual fans all across the country.

  113. Florio wrote: “The depressed number comes from one basic reality: The game stunk”.
    +++++++++
    I believe that is wrong. I believe there are two contributing factors: A) Covid 19 restrictions prevented all the Super Bowl parties and suppressed viewership. B) The relentless “Social Justice”-In-Your-Face initiative has turned many fans sour and are simply not watching anymore. Additionally, viewership has been down throughout the entire year, across the board, and not just for the Super Bowl. I think that saying its all due to “the game stunk” simply ignores those realities.

  114. Concussions and head trauma ruined the game. Design a new age helmet that protects the jaw line better. That leather chin strap is a joke.

  115. Aside from all the reasons mentioned above, does anyone else wonder if, for some fans, this season just isn’t 100% “legitimate”? No fans eliminating home-field advantage for some times, inconsistent rules that permitted some teams to have fans (and a degree of home-field advantage), the weird COVID-related handling of some games (the Ravens and Broncos come to mind)… I believe the main reason for the lower viewer numbers is that the game wasn’t competitive, and I am glad that there was some type of NFL season, but I think there’s a small “asterisk factor” with the 2020-21 season.

  116. theitalianarmy says:
    “Concussions and head trauma ruined the game. Design a new age helmet that protects the jaw line better. That leather chin strap is a joke.”

    – – – –

    Concussion is caused by the brain, a gelatinous mass, jostling and hitting the inside of the skull via sudden speed. Now you tell me how any helmet can stop the movement of the brain inside the skull?

  117. In reading the comments here and talking to people all season, it seems obvious that the politics and social justice nonsense being force-fed to the fans is what turned most people off. I know several (former) die-hard fans who just stopped watching this year.

  118. To bring the viewership numbers up, the NFL needs to get my Buffalo Bills in the SB somehow…yeahhhh..

  119. I get sick of all the hype so I have a ritual: I don’t turn on the TV to watch the game until 5 minutes before kickoff. At the end of the half I shut it off for 30 minutes then watch the second half and shut it off.

    The mixing of the conferences really just makes this another game. A way to make the Super Bowl special is to play only within the conferences until the Super Bowl. When the first few Super Bowls were held, the NFL had much to prove against the AFL.

  120. Once Brady retires, and the super bowl has somebody besides Brady, fans will come back. Sick of him. Hang em up.

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