UPDATED: Sunday’s Super Bowl fell to its lowest ratings in nine years.
Despite what fans considered a strong game — with the Philadelphia Eagles winning their first Super Bowl in a 41-33 victory over defending champion the New England Patriots — the telecast delivered “only” 103.4 million viewers — the biggest TV audience since the previous Super Bowl, as one might expect, yet also the lowest turnout since 2009.
NBC pointed out that the last time the Patriots and Eagles met in the Super Bowl the game drew far less — 86.1 million viewers — but that was in 2005 when Super Bowl ratings tended to be lower. Ratings for the big game were gradually rising for decades … until they seemed to plateau starting in 2011 at around 111 million total viewers. Every game since has been between 108 and 114 million until this year.
The ratings decline wasn’t entirely unexpected given the viewership decreases the NFL has endured overall the last couple years. NBC points out that the margin between the Super Bowl’s overnight ratings and the NFL Playoffs was the largest ever — basically, that the big game performed really well relative to the popularity of the season.
Also, in some good ratings news for NBC: The network’s presentation of This Is Us had the biggest post-Super Bowl entertainment telecast rating in six years despite the big game slouching.