Although we don’t have the data yet, experts are clear that last night’s NFL final between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers could have been the second most-watched program in the history of the United States.
Of the 25 most-watched television programs in the history of the United States, there are 18 Super Bowls on the list. This includes last year’s game between the Chiefs and the Eagles, which, in addition to holding the audience crown for the competition, is also the second most-watched television program in history.
The only program that surpasses it? The arrival of Apollo 11 to the Moon in 1969, which was seen by more than 150 million people. So far, no other program has even come close to that record.
Four out of the last five Super Bowls are among the top 25, and over the years, 12 Super Bowls have surpassed 100 million viewers.
Currently, to enter the Top 25, more than 92 million viewers are needed, a figure that is increasingly difficult to achieve for television. That is why, as time goes by, it is very likely that there will be more Super Bowls on this list. Today, American football is almost the only thing that can achieve an audience of half that size.
The NFL’s record-breaking season in viewership
Last year, the NFL had its best regular season in years, which bodes well for a record-breaking Super Bowl LVIII. Among all the games, the regular season averaged 17.9 million viewers across linear and digital platforms.
This is the highest figure since 2015, tied with the one from 2010 for the second best season recorded, dating back to 1995. The most watched game of the season was the Commanders-Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, with over 40 million viewers.
The audience increased by 7% year-on-year in terms of total audience, while the increase in viewers ranged from 4% to 10% in key demographic groups.
The NFL also set a streaming record with the Wild Card game between the Chiefs and Dolphins, which was exclusive to Peacock. It is now considered the most streamed live event in US history.
Why has this season been so stellar for the NFL? There are several factors, such as close and competitive games and the growing power of the stars among the players and their inner circles.
The Chiefs, in particular, have several of the most important names in sports, such as Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes. And then there’s Taylor Swift, the undisputed protagonist of this season.