Super Bowl 2024 Is The Most-Watched Broadcast In The U.S.

An average of 123.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2024, a record that hasn’t occurred since the 1969 moon landing of the Apollo 11. 

What could be as significant a milestone as Apollo 11 astronauts landing on the moon? The Super Bowl, apparently. Indeed, based on data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, the Super Bowl 58 garnered 123.4 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms, reports The Guardian. This surpasses the previous record set by last year’s Super Bowl, which achieved a 115.1 million viewership. As such, the 2024 Super Bowl is now the most-watched television show in American history, according to Sarah Whitten and Christine Wang of CNBC

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Oliver Darcy of CNN adds that no broadcast has gotten this much attention since Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969. Though there’s no precise way to get viewership numbers for the legendary landing, it’s estimated to have had around 125 to 150 million viewers at the time. 

Attracting Viewers

Unsurprisingly, it was the tense, overtime game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers (with the Chiefs scoring the winning touchdown) on Sunday night that drew in much of the viewers, reports Whitten and Wang of CNBC

The Kansas City Chiefs celebrating their victory/Photo via Instagram @chiefs

The increase in numbers may also have to do with the way Nielsen counted viewers. Before this year, the company had counted out-of-home viewers from limited markets; however, it began expanding its measurements across all 50 states at the start of 2024, according to The Guardian

Then of course, one must factor in the attendance of worldwide music sensation, Taylor Swift. The singer-songwriter has been dating Kansas Chiefs player Travis Kelce, and attended 13 of the team’s games (the most recent being this year’s Super Bowl). With this, the NFL has inadvertently tapped into a new audience: the musician’s millions of faithful fans. 

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s romance has attracted millions of viewers as well/Photo via Instagram @chiefs

“She is without a doubt incremental to audience on the NFL,” shares Bob Bakish, the chief executive of CBS parent company Paramount Global, in a Bloomberg interview. “She’s a great addition, widening the net of the NFL viewer even further.”

Then there’s the usual fare of epic halftime performances for the show, including a memorable one from Usher (which has already garnered more than 20 million views within its six days on YouTube). 

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Television Takeover

As Brad Adgate writes in a report for Forbes, the viewership for linear television is a dying one—yet NFL games seem to be the miraculous outlier. In 2023, the league’s games made up 93 percent of the most-watched TV programs in the United States. The numbers have never been better, in fact, with viewership experiencing a year-over-year increase of eight percent. 

Oliver Darcy of CNN adds that this data proves that the NFL is “one of the only remaining entities that can draw large live audiences.” As such, many companies have spent $7 million just to secure 30-second commercials during the Super Bowl. 

That said, Adgate of Forbes adds that NFL viewership may decrease in the coming months with the 2024 Presidential elections and Paris Summer Olympics drawing closer. 

Banner photo via Instagram @usher.

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