SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Lindsay H. Jones and Jarrett Bell break down the plays and players that defined the Eagles' shocking victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Total viewership for Super Bowl LII fell nearly 7% even with a record streaming audience, according to numbers released by NBC on Monday.
The broadcast on NBC averaged 103.4 million viewers, a 7% drop from Fox's broadcast of last year's overtime game (111.3 million) that was the third-most watched Super Bowl on record. The network reported a total audience of 106 million – which included gains in streaming on various platforms along with the Spanish-language broadcast on Universo – that cushioned some of the lost viewers on the main broadcast. It was the least-watched Super Bowl since 2009.
Compared to Fox's total audience at Super Bowl LI (113.7 million), overall viewership was down 6.8%.
“With an all-time Top 10 audience, the Super Bowl once again proved that it’s the most dominant and consistent property on television,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, said in a statement. “Super Bowl LII delivered for all of our partners, and provided us with the unique opportunity to give America a look ahead at the Olympic Winter Games, which begin live on NBC this Thursday night.”
Earlier Monday, NBC announced that Super Bowl LII delivered an overnight rating of 47.4 according to Nielsen — a 3 percent dip from last year's overnight rating of 48.8.
Super Bowl LII had an average online viewership of 2 million, a 15% gain over Fox a year ago. The stream was available on NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com and the Yahoo Sports app, among others. The online audience peaked at 3.1 million concurrent streams.
“We are excited by the record-breaking consumption as well as the quality of the streams we delivered to football fans,” said Rick Cordella, the executive vice president and general manager of NBC Sports Group's Digital Media division, in a statement. “We believe this is the largest domestic streaming sports event in history.”
The numbers announced by NBC did not include out-of-home viewership, which will not be released by Nielsen until later this week.
Viewership on NBC peaked at 109.2 million between 10-10:25 p.m. ET as the Philadelphia Eagles held on for a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots.
Meanwhile, ratings for the halftime show, which was performed by Justin Timberlake, exceeded the average rating for the game itself, delivering a 48.1 overnight rating. According to Variety, it is the fifth consecutive year in which the halftime show has outpaced the average rating for the game.
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