How Super Bowl fared in TV ratings locally, nationally

Updated Feb 05, 2018
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Eagles’ Nick Foles looks to pass against the Patriots during the second quarter of Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Almost eight million fewer viewers across the country watched the Super Bowl on television Sunday than watched the game a year earlier, according to Nielsen data released Monday.

NBC’s telecast of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots averaged 103.4 million viewers, down 7.1 percent from 111.3 million for the Patriots’ win over the Falcons last year.

Sunday’s game posted a 47.4 rating across the nation’s metered markets, hitting an eight-year low for the Super Bowl, and was slightly below that level in Atlanta.

The game drew a 47.1 rating in the Atlanta TV market, ranking 29th among the 56 metered markets.

The rating represents the percentage of TV households watching the game on average. 

Nationally, the rating was the lowest for a Super Bowl across the metered markets since 2010 and down from 48.8 for last year’s game. And the number of viewers was the lowest for a Super Bowl since the 2009 game, which averaged 98.7 million viewers.

The numbers continued a much-discussed, season-long decline in NFL ratings.

Still, Sunday’s game was by far the highest rated program on U.S. television since last year’s Super Bowl. The 103.4 million viewers ranked as the 10th most for a program in U.S. TV history, trailing eight  Super Bowls and the M.A.S.H. finale in 1983.

Total audience across all platforms for Sunday’s game, including streaming, was 106 million, NBC said. That was down 6.8 percent from last year.

In the Atlanta market, the rating for Sunday’s game was predictably well below last year’s Super Bowl, which earned a 57.0 rating here with the Falcons participating. The 2015 and 2016 Super Bowls drew ratings of 52.1 and 51.1 in the Atlanta market, respectively. 

The market with the highest rating for Sunday’s game was Buffalo, N.Y., at 56.4. In the markets of the participating teams, the game drew a 56.2 rating in Philadelphia, the highest for a Super Bowl telecast there, and 55.9 in Boston, the fourth highest among the Patriots’ 10 Super Bowl appearances. 

SUPER BOWL RATINGS 

The markets with the highest ratings for the Super Bowl on Sunday night: 

1. Buffalo 56.4 

2. Philadelphia 56.2 

3. Boston 55.9 

4. Minneapolis-St. Paul 54.9 

5. Pittsburgh 54.9 

6. Norfolk, Va. 53.9 

7. New Orleans 53.0 

8. Providence, R.I. 52.5 

9. Milwaukee 52.3 

10. Seattle 52.2 

11. Kansas City 52.2 

(Note: Atlanta ranked 29th among the 56 metered markets with a 47.1 rating.)

(Source: Nielsen Media Research figures provided by NBC Sports.)

MOST WATCHED ON TV

The most watched programs in U.S. television history: 

1. 114.4 Million – 2015 Super Bowl

2. 112.2 Million – 2014 Super Bowl

3. 111.9 Million – 2016 Super Bowl

4. 111.3 Million – 2012 Super Bowl 

5. 111.3 Million – 2017 Super Bowl

6. 111.0 Million – 2011 Super Bowl 

7. 108.7 Million – 2013 Super Bowl 

8. 106.5 Million – 2010 Super Bowl

9. 106.0 Million – M.A.S.H. Finale, 1983 

10. 103.4 Million – 2018 Super Bowl

(Source: NBC Sports)