— The Sports Xchange —
Despite Sunday being among the more notable Super Bowls, Nielsen said Monday that the viewership of the game was the least watched game since 2009.
According to Nielsen’s ratings, the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 win over the New England Patriots was watched by an average of 103.4 million people on NBC.
It was the lowest viewership of a Super Bowl since an average of 98.7 million people watched the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Although the ratings might have been lower by Super Bowl standards, the game still came in as the 10th most watched program in American TV history just after the M*A*S*H series finale in Feb. 1983.
“With an all-time Top 10 audience, the Super Bowl once again proved that it’s the most dominant and consistent property on television,” NBC chairman of broadcasting and sports Mark Lazarus said in a news release.
The Eagles won their first championship since 1960 after losing in the 1981 Super Bowl to the Oakland Raiders and the 2005 Super Bowl to New England. The Patriots were trying to win their sixth title with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
Despite the lower viewership it still was an increase from the first meeting between New England and Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX when 86 million viewers tuned in.
In 2015, New England’s 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks was the most-watched game and broadcast in American history. The Patriots also played in the fourth and fifth most watched broadcasts of all-time when they faced the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 and the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI last year.
Buffalo had the highest percentage of viewers as 56.4 percent of the market watched the game. Philadelphia (56.2 percent), Boston (55.9 percent) and the host market of Minneapolis-St. Paul (54.9 percent) finished second, third and fourth.