The massively disappointing numbers from Sunday’s Super Bowl continue to come in. The contest between the Patriots and Eagles drew an average of 103.4 million viewers, down seven percent from last year.
That number, represents the smallest television audience for the Super Bowl since 2009. Though, the seven percent decline over last year, is still smaller than the ten percent ratings drop the NFL saw during the regular season.
According to Reuters:
About 3 million more people watched this year’s Super Bowl live on digital platforms such as NFL.com or apps from NBC Sports, Verizon Communications Inc and Yahoo Sports, NBC said. That made the game the most live-streamed Super Bowl ever.
Ratings for NFL games have been closely watched after two straight years of declines during the regular season. Among factors cited by analysts are an overall drop in television viewing and divisive player protests over racial inequality.
Advertisers including Anheuser Busch InBev, Amazon.com Inc and Toyota Motor Corp spent more than $5 million on average for each 30-second commercial spot during Sunday’s game.
Total spending by brands during the broadcast hit $414 million, the second-highest amount in history, according to a preliminary estimate from research firm Kantar Media. Commercials took up more than 49 minutes, or 22 percent, of the game, Kantar said.
Given that the NFL reached its all-time high Super Bowl audience of 114 million just three years ago, this data reflects a massive drop-off for the league that, among other things, coincides with a massive anthem protest movement that has helped fuel fan discontent.
The 103 million number for the Patriots-Eagles, also makes it a very real possibility that viewership for next year’s Super Bowl could dip below 100 million for the first time in nearly a decade.