UPDATED, 9:16 AM: The final numbers are in and Super Bowl LVI was a big winner for more than just the Los Angeles Rams.
NBC and the NFL are likely doing cartwheels in the end zone with Sunday’s championship game delivering a whopping 112.3 million viewers across NBC, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital platforms and Yahoo Sports mobile properties.
Or to put it another way, the total audience delivery for the 2022 Super Bowl is up over the TAD for 2021 Super Bowl by more than 16%. Streaming a Super Bowl for the first time, Peacock saw the best digital results ever for the NFL’s big game, according to NBC Sports. It all adds up to the most watched Super Bowl since the 114.4 million who tuned in to NBC for 2015’s game between the wining New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
The widely praised and ever-so-slightly political halftime show from Dr Dre, Eminem, Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar was a top 10 hit too. Up 7% from last year’s stint by The Weeknd, the Pepsi-sponsored hip-hip bonanza averaged 103.4 million viewers in the 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET slot.
To paraphrase, Kendrick the Great – that’s a bit of alright!
PREVIOUSLY, 7:08 AM: There was a lot of California Love flying around Super Bowl LVI on Sunday as the hometown Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in a nail-biter game punctuated by a halftime show of West Coast hip-hip icons. Part of that legacy will be a much-desired reversal of viewership fortune after years of decline for the NFL’s big game.
The 2022 Super Bowl scored more than 100.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen data from NBC and Telemundo.
Cracking that 100 million ceiling, the burly Super Bowl LVI viewership is a nice bounce from the total audience of 96.4 million viewers on CBS and a plethora of platforms and outlets that the Tampa Bay-hosted Super Bowl LV drew in early February last year. In fact, with an audience of about 91.6 million on the ViacomCBS-owned network alone, the 31-9 win by now-retired Tom Brady and the Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs had been the least-watched Super Bowl in nearly two decades.
With a postgame on-field marriage proposal from Rams safety Taylor Rapp to now-fiancée Dani Johnson, the scene at the packed SoFi Stadium was pretty much exactly what NBC and the NFL were praying for. Even while Eminem took a knee during the halftime show in homage to expelled Colin Kaepernick’s past protests against racism and police violence, the rest of the gridiron extravaganza was picture perfect for the broadcaster and the league.
Add to that having a team from one of the top television markets in the nation was a bonus, as was the lack of a blowout, which plagued last year’s Super Bowl on CBS. Certainly a historic halftime lineup of Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, plus surprise guest 50 Cent didn’t hurt either. Still, victory for Rams QB Matthew Stafford and teammates looked in doubt until the final minutes of the 3:30 p.m. PT-starting game. Lagging behind the Bengals, a successful pass to receiver Cooper Kupp put the guys ahead, and some strategic stops by lineman Aaron Donald sealed the deal in the closing seconds.
Needless to say, even with a significant number of Bengals fans among the celeb-heavy 70,048 in attendance at the shining Inglewood venue, SoFi exploded when the final whistle went off.
All of which translated into big numbers at home and elsewhere as well.
More metrics from Peacock and other platforms and outlets are expected later today from NBC Sports. Based on recent Super Bowl trends and the strong season the league had overall, those streaming numbers will likely be record-breaking. We’ll update when that data is available.
Still, with 99.18 million watching the game this year on the linear network alone, NBC is denied the bragging rights of having beaten their own viewership results from the last time the network hosted the Super Bowl in 2018. That 41-33 win by the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots snagged 103.4 million sets of eyeballs on NBC, a nine-year Super Bowl low at the time.
In a pre-Peacock era, when views from NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NBC.com TV Everywhere, Universo, En Vivo app, NFL.com, NFL Mobile from Verizon, the Yahoo Sports app, and go90 were added in, Super Bowl LII had total viewership of 106 million.
Of course, even with upticking ratings and viewership for the NFL this pandemic-modulated season, NBC wasn’t supposed to even have the Super Bowl this year. Back in 2019, the Comcast-owned network swapped Super Bowl slots with CBS so it could have the big game the same year as NBC had the 2022 Winter Olympics. So, CBS got the lackluster 2021 game and NBC had a sports full deck.
Based on the Super Bowl LVI viewership, it looks like a winning hand.
With the 2022 Winter Olympics struggling to find a strong audiences on either linear TV or streaming, Sunday’s Super Bowl surely provided a nice launchpad into NBC’s Mike Tirico-hosted Beijing Games coverage, which directly followed Sunday’s game.
Even before the official Nielsen numbers were out, the robust result for Super Bowl LVI was an almost sure thing. Amidst all the other elements, Samba TV, which tracks programming and advertising viewing via smart TV data, put out data Monday that household viewership was up 12% from last year. Based on linear and streaming data from their cauldron of 46 million “opted in devices,” the San Francisco-based company also had the halftime show rising 19% from 2021’s performance by The Weeknd.
Next year sees the Super Bowl on Fox for the first time since 2020. Super Bowl LIV in Miami drew 102 million viewers on the Rupert Murdoch-owned net, Fox Deportes and Fox, NFL and Verizon’s digital properties. After this year, that big number suddenly looks a little smaller.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.