If you feel like you’ve heard a lot more about the Super Bowl this year than in years past, there’s a reason.
According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, Super Bowl LVIII is the most-watched program in television history. Across all television and streaming platforms, the game averaged 123.4 million viewers, up 7% from last year’s Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl viewership of 115.1 million.
It helped that it was not only televised on CBS but also by the NFL’s own platform, Paramount+, and Univision. By far, the most entertaining sideline reporting came from Nickelodeon, helmed by Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star.
Even if the game wasn’t why some people tuned in (hint: a streamlined Usher concert), Nielsen even set a record there with 202.4 million people partially watching the game, up 10% from last year’s 183.6 million.
While some may attribute the game’s uptick in viewers to the Taylor Swift effect, who’s been cheering on her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce –which holds some weight– it also has a lot to do with Nielsen changing the way viewers are counted. This was the first year all out-of-home viewers from all 50 states were counted.
Also, the game was pretty exciting to watch. It started off a bit slow but came down to a back-and-forth nail-biting battle that forced the second-only overtime Super Bowl in history, with the first coming in 2017 when Tom Brady charted the greatest comeback in NFL history despite his New England Patriots being down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons.
“I was managing my expectations, but I had a bit of hope that it would happen,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. “I can’t imagine a Super Bowl any better or more exciting than this.”
Social media also had a lot of fun meme-ing the game and had hilarious commentary for it all. See the best reactions below.
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