Super Bowl Breaks Streaming Record, Hits 14-Year-Low for Viewers
By Movieguide® Staff
Maybe people were bored of watching Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady return to the Super Bowl yet again. Maybe viewers didn’t see the point of watching if they couldn’t gather with friends and family and eat copious amounts of snacks. Whatever the case, overall viewership of the Super Bowl dropped this year, but simultaneously broke a streaming record for CBS.
Variety reports that CBS broke its Sunday streaming record, according to Nielsen Live+Same Day fast affiliate ratings. However, less than 100 million viewers watched the big game.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
The TV only audience for CBS is 91.63 million viewers, off by 8 percent vs. Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl LIV last year (99.91 million viewers, later adjusted to 113 million including out of home viewing) and the smallest for the game since 2006. The game drew a household rating of 38.2 (meaning 38.2 percent of all TV homes in the United States were watching the game), the first time that number has fallen below 40 since 1990. The Super Bowl’s audience share, however, was fairly consistent with recent years, with 68 percent of all TVs in use during the game tuned to CBS.
The game had an average audience of 5.7 million on streaming platforms, an all-time high for the Super Bowl. It’s up 65 percent from a year ago — although digital viewership still only made up about 6 percent of the total audience.
Compared to previous games, this Super Bowl was affected by pandemic restrictions, including limited in-person attendance and no surprise special guests during the half-time performance.
Meanwhile, some commentators complained that “The Super Bowl Shouldn’t Have Looked That Normal.”
Variety’s Caroline Framke writes:
On a basic human level, I get the instinct to reject realism for trying to make things seem alright. It’s always nice to get a reprieve from our daily dread, and being able to turn on something, anything, without thinking about sickness, loss or Zoom would be great. And yet watching the Super Bowl, I couldn’t think of anything but the devastating virus that the broadcast was otherwise determined to ignore. Seeing a stadium teeming with people wasn’t a relief, but a window into some uncanny mirrored valley where everything looks the same as it was before, except somehow still hopelessly backwards. It didn’t feel like an escape; it felt like waking up to yet another day of lockdown while having to forge ahead like everything is okay. But nothing’s the same, it’s not okay, and pretending otherwise isn’t going to be what gets us through it.
As the Super Bowl and other live events are forced to adapt amid the coronavirus pandemic, one thing that can inspire others is how many NFL players continue to glorify God through the challenges of the last year.
Movieguide® recently reported how New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis honored the Lord at the Super Bowl Breakfast on Saturday. At the brunch, Davis received the Bart Starr award:
“I always hear when somebody wins an award they say ‘thank you’ to God, but I always wish they spent more time on that part,” Davis said. “I want to do that because I’m so grateful to Him.”
Davis then quoted Ephesians 2:4-5, which reads: “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”
“For me, when I look back on my life, I was dead in my transgressions — a kid who was expelled from high school, a kid who went to jail his freshman year in college,” Davis recalled. “I was headed down the wrong path fast.”
Although Davis was a prospect on the field while at Arkansas State University, it wasn’t until he began to build a relationship with the team chaplain, Chuck McElroy, that Davis found the ultimate hope for his future.
“He saved me from myself and he gave me a life. He also gave me purpose,” Davis said. “So for that, I am forever indebted to God. I will always live on mission for Him.”