UPDATE, 10:17 AM: There were two dozen records set in last night’s Super Bowl LI and seven records matched plus this little thing of an almost unbelievable 34-28 comeback victory for the New England Patriots in what was surely one of the best big games ever.
With the final viewership in, it looks like the Fox broadcast of the Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons gridiron NFL battle at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday is one of the top four most watched TV shows in American history – tied with the 2012 Super Bowl. About 111.3 million tuned in to Fox for the 6:45 – 10:30 PM ET Super Bowl last night, according to Nielsen. When viewership on Fox Deportes and Fox Sports GO are added in, the total rises to 113.7 million – the second best multi-platform Super Bowl result in this multi-platform era.
“Tom Brady cemented his place,” President Donald Trump today said of the game and his pal’s historic win. “He did a good job,” the Commander-in-Chief added while visiting CentCom in Florida Monday.
Full of its Lady Gaga halftime show and tentpole movie ads galore from the likes of Logan, the latest upcoming Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, that result on Fox proper is down a notch of 0.5% from the eyeballs who watched the Payton Manning’s Super Bowl 50 swan song last year as the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on CBS. For Fox alone, not including the Fox Deportes and Fox Sports GO numbers, last night is the second most watched show in the net’s history – after Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014
Earlier in the day, the metered market results scored Fox the best Super Bowl numbers it has ever had as the broadcaster of the NFL championship game – and the fast nationals proved another touchdown for the Rupert Murdoch owned channel. Compared to the last time Fox had the Super Bowl back in 2014 and 111.5 million who saw the Seattle Seahawks win their first Super Bowl in 2014 over the Broncos on Fox, yesterday’s game was pretty on the money.
We’re waiting for the numbers on how the Gaga performance did and fast nationals on the pre-game interview that Bill O’Reilly did with President Donald Trump.
Until then, here’s another one for you stat heads – the last time the Patriots won the Super Bowl was back in 2015 when they took down then reigning champs the Seahawks 28-24 in a last minute victory. That game snared a 114.5 million viewers to make it the most watched show in U.S. history with the audience leaping up to an amazing 120.8 million in the 9:45 – 10 PM ET slot as things got very serious in the fourth quarter. Which means, after a season that saw a nearly 10% drop in NFL ratings from the year before, last night’s fifth Patriots win dipped 3% from their forth Super Bowl victory of two years ago.
See ya next year in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII!
PREVIOUSLY, 5:48 AM: Staging the greatest Super Bowl comeback ever, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots’ snaring of an astounding fifth NFL championship scored a 48.8/72 in metered market ratings for Fox last night. It’s the best ever early number for the network, which also premiered spinoff 24:Legacy after the Patriots’ dramatic overtime win.
Besides the 24 new records set during the 6:45-10:30 PM ET game, the metered market result is basically even with last year, when the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on CBS. With just a 0.4% dip, that makes it the third most successful Super Bowl ever. Last night’s game peaked from 10-10:30 PM ET with a huge 52.1/74 as what seemed like a certain Atlanta Falcons win turned into the first overtime game in Super Bowl history.
Drawing on some team history, yesterday’s game at NRG Stadium in Houston was down 2% in metered-market results from the Patriots’ last Super Bowl win in 2015, when it beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in a nail-biter on NBC. At 49.7/72, that 2014 battle remains the all-time Super Bowl metered-market high.
Last year’s Super Bowl 50 eventually had a final viewership score of 111.9 million, which stands as the third most watched show in U.S. TV history after Super Bowl 2015’s 114.4 million and Super Bowl 2014’s 112.2 million, the latter of which aired on Fox.
Compared to that last time Fox had the game in 2014, Sunday’s Super Bowl LI is up 2.5% from the Seahawks’ blowout 48-8 win over the Broncos in MM results. With Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the halftime show, Super Bowl XLVIII had record viewership at the time – until the 2015 game. Speaking of halftime shows, this year’s solo performance from Lady Gaga drew a 50.0/73 rating in MM results in the 8 PM ET time period.
Starting at 11 PM ET, the post-game debut of 24: Legacy after the Super Bowl drew a 10.7/56 in metered market result, according to Nielsen — which looks to be the best any 24 episode has ever done. Against last year’s 10:54 PM ET start of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on CBS, Legacy dipped 4% in MM results.
However, direct comparisons are a little tricky year-to-year when it comes to that coveted post-Super Bowl spot. Rarely airing a show for the first time, different nets also have picked different types of shows to benefit from the potentially huge audience it presents, and they often start at different times depending on how long the game went. The last drama to have the post-Super Bowl berth was The Blacklist in 2015 on NBC. Going to air at 10:38 PM ET, the ninth episode of the James Spader-starring show’s second season pulled in a 13.4/24. That’s the best The Blacklist has ever done; Legacy was down 20% in MM numbers from that.
We’ll update later with more Super Bowl numbers, how Lady Gaga’s halftime show fared and 18-49 results for 24: Legacy. While we wait, with the numbers from the Patriots’ win last night included, here’s a look at the Top 5 metered market Super Bowl results ever:
1) 2015: 49.7 – Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks (NBC)
2) 2016: 49.0 – Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers (CBS)
3) 2017: 48.8/72 – Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons (Fox)
4) 2013: 48.1 – Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers (CBS)
4) 2011: 47.9 – Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Fox)