The Super Bowl Ratings Are Out And At Least One Streaming Record Was Broken

In the same way that one can expect to get wet after jumping into a lake, one can expect that the most-watched TV event in any given year is going to be the Super Bowl. 2021's big game certainly isn't an exception to the rule, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs no doubt had millions of fans wanting to dive into lakes to avoid the post-game coverage. But while CBS can celebrate its overall win, the TV stats for the NFL championship game were pretty dismal compared recent years, though there were wins on the streaming side.

How Many People Watched Super Bowl LV On TV?

NFL games faced ratings problems as a whole throughout the 2020-2021 season, due in large part to the pandemic that changed nearly all aspects of life in the past year. While there were more than a few viewership wins to celebrate here and there, the audience dip definitely carried over to Super Bowl LV, with a reported 91.6 million people specifically tuning into CBS' broadcast, according to Deadline. That's obviously no small potatoes, but it's sorely lacking in comparison to past contests. (I'm sure The Weeknd wouldn't scoff at that kind of viewership for his eye-popping halftime show.)

In fact, CBS' numbers signify the lowest network TV turnout for a Super Bowl broadcast since 2007's Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears, which earned an average of 93.18 million viewers. It also marks an 8% drop from the numbers that Fox put up with last year's Super Bowl LIV. It's through no fault of CBS in particular, of course, with many fans decrying the lopsidedness of the game's score as the reason why they relatively quickly tuned out.

How Many People Watched Super Bowl LV Via Streaming?

Though the linear numbers weren't up to snuff, Super Bowl LV really made waves when it came to streaming totals. This year's game became the most-streamed Super Bowl (and NFL game in general) of all time, with an average of 5.7 million viewers watching online at any given minute. Fans were able to access the live stream of Super Bowl LV through CBS Sports' website and app, as well as through the CBS All Access streaming service, which is soon to be rebranded as Paramount+. (You might have seen one of their character-stuffed ads during the game.)

Another noteworthy record in this capacity is that Super Bowl LV was streamed for more total minutes than any other NFL game in history, with over 1 billion minutes total. Clearly, the NFL's grasp on streaming audiences is something they'll continue to capitalize on in future years. Maybe next year, they can bring in the team from Nickelodeon for a bit of slime time on the field.

Super Bowl LV was a historical game for several reasons beyond the TV numbers, of course. It the first time an NFL team won the big game inside their own home stadium, with Tom Brady becoming the first player to make it to ten Super Bowls, and the first to win seven of them. He's also the first quarterback to win the Bowl across three different decades. I guess the seventh time wasn't the charm when it came to pulling in record TV audiences, though. (For those who want to see the future hall-of-famer hilariously roasting himself, check out his recent "Mean Tweets" segment from Jimmy Kimmel Live!)

Regardless of your where your NFL fandom lies, if anywhere, you can definitely appreciate some of the funniest commercials that aired during Super Bowl LV while waiting for the next NFL season to eventually arrive.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.