Last Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII became the most-watched televised event in US history as 123.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22. 

Nielsen and Adobe Analytics confirmed the record viewership of the game that went into overtime, which was a 7% increase from last year’s Super Bowl rating of 115 million between the Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles

A peak viewership of 202.4 million was also recorded of viewers who tuned in to watch at least some part of the NFL finale, a 10% increase from the 183.6 million peak from the year prior. 

This year’s Super Bowl national broadcaster CBS potentially forecasted a high viewership figure compared to previous years as it maintained a $7m price tag for the coveted 30-second ad spot for the big game. 

The NFL, in line with its attempts to garner younger viewers, also made the Super Bowl available on Paramount+ and NFL+ and for the first time, the child-centric Nickelodeon network aired its own broadcast, featuring network characters such as Spongebob Squarepants to appease child audiences. 

The 123.4 million viewership makes this year’s Super Bowl the most-watched in NFL history, with some media outlets claiming it was the most-watched US TV programme since the 1969 moon landing, where an estimated 125-150 million viewers tuned in. 

Alongside the multi-centric programming of CBS, Paramount+ and Nickelodeon, along with the appeal of the halftime show performed by Usher, Taylor Swift undoubtedly brought in extra intrigue from her fans to watch her partner Travis Kelce lift his third Super Bowl with the Chiefs. 

Since making her relationship with the Chiefs tight end public in late 2023, the NFL has benefited from the popstars global appeal. 

When Swift attended her second Chiefs game of the NFL season against the New York Jets, her presence helped bring in 24 million viewers, making it the second highest-viewed game of 2023 behind last year’s Super Bowl. 

Overall, the NFL playoffs averaged 38.5 million viewers across its first three weekends which was a 9% increase from last season. 

The league is continuing to push into the streaming realm with an 11-year deal with Amazon Prime Video for Thursday Night Football, as well as agreeing one-off deals with platforms such as NBC’s Peacock, with its coverage of the AFC Wild Card game becoming the most streamed US event in history

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