How many people watched Super Bowl 55? Ratings, viewership numbers take big hit in 2021
The Super Bowl 55 ratings are in, and they're not so super. After a fairly lengthy delay in the ratings reveal (by usual standards), CBS on Tuesday announced a dip in ratings from over 100 million TV viewers last year to just over 91 million TV viewers this year — a fairly significant drop and the worst TV viewership number in […]


The Super Bowl 55 ratings are in, and they're not so super. After a fairly lengthy delay in the ratings reveal (by usual standards), CBS on Tuesday announced a dip in ratings from over 100 million TV viewers last year to just over 91 million TV viewers this year — a fairly significant drop and the worst TV viewership number in over a decade. The lengthy delay in getting the numbers out led to some speculation that the viewership numbers and ratings were in for a big decline from last year's San Francisco vs. Kansas City matchup in Super Bowl 54, which turned out to be fact.Combining all methods of viewing — TV, stream and so forth — the number climbs a bit to 96.4 million, but still doesn't reach the heights of Super Bowls past.Here's what we know about the Super Bowl ratings, viewership and more:MORE: The best, worst commercials from Super Bowl 55How many people watched Super Bowl 55?At a reported average of 91.6 million viewers strictly on TV (per SBJ's John Ourand), this marks the lowest number of TV viewers for a Super Bowl since 2006, when the Steelers and Seahawks drew a 90.75 million viewership number, solely on television. When adding TV viewers from various other platforms, that number grows to 96.4 million viewers, still a pretty big hit to average viewership altogether. Last year's average TV viewership sat at 100.45 million viewers for Super Bowl 54, with another 3.4 million tied into streaming. Super Bowl LV averaged 96.4 million viewers across all platforms—take out the average-minute audience via streaming and linear TV looks to be just 90.7 million—the lowest since 2006. (Which was the last time ABC broadcast the Big Game.) — Anthony Crupi (@crupicrupicrupi) February 9, 2021 CBS has clarified the broadcast deliveries for Super Bowl LV, saying that the traditional TV presentation averaged 91.6 million viewers. That tops Pittsburgh-Seattle in 2006 (90.7M) but is now the least-watched broadcast since Indy-Chicago averaged 93.2M on CBS in 2007. — Anthony Crupi (@crupicrupicrupi) February 9, 2021 Strictly on TV, CBS Sports averaged 91.629 million viewers for its broadcast of Bucs vs. Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday.That would be the lowest TV viewership in 15 tears for the Big Game (90.75 million for Steelers vs Seahawks in 2006). — Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) February 9, 2021While the TV numbers dipped roughly 9 percent, the NFL's regular season lost about a 7 percent viewership, meaning the loss in viewers is just about on par with the losses during the regular season, per SBJ's John Ourand: This game will be the most viewed U.S. telecast of 2021 by a long shot. The ratings drop of about 9% is in line with the regular season ratings drop of 7%. The NFL remains as the most powerful TV product in America. — John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 9, 2021There could be any number of reasons for the loss in viewers, but most predominantly, the fact that the game was relatively non-competitive by halftime. Competitive games typically lend themselves to better viewership and ratings overall, and Super Bowl 55 was one of the most lopsided victories in the big game in the last 20 years. Super Bowl ratings 2021In local markets, the numbers that tie into viewership are just as telling. For example, the ratings in Boston were higher than those in Tampa, Fla.: With a 57.6 local rating, that number outpaced viewers in Tampa, which posted a 52.3 number, locally.In Kansas City, the local rating came in at over 59.9, good for an 8-percent increase, per SBJ. The Boston market grew in viewership for a 13-percent rise, a year after the Patriots weren't in the Super Bowl.Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati ratings also took a hit, each losing a bit of ratings percentage off the top in local TV markets. According to @Ourand_SBJ, Super Bowl LV got a 57.6 rating in Boston.Previous Patriots Super Bowl ratings in Boston:LIII (Rams): 57.4LI (Falcons): 54.3XLIX (Seahawks): 61XLVI (Giants): 56.7XLII (Giants): 55.6XXXIX (Eagles): 53.1XXXVIII (Panthers): 52.2XXXVI (Rams): 56.1 — Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) February 8, 2021
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