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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Super Bowl soars to record numbers

Las Vegas – CBS Sports’ coverage of super bowl LVIII, which saw the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime, delivered the most-watched telecast in history. The network reported there were 123.4 million average viewers across all platforms during the broadcast of the Superbowl.  

The platforms that showed the spectacle include CBS television network, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Univision and NFL+ (National Football League). 

More than 200 million viewers (202.4) watched all or part of Superbowl LVIII across all networks, which is the highest total audience ever recorded for the “big game” and increased 10% from last year’s Superbowl (183.6 million.) 

Besides the actual football game itself, the music and commercials; there might’ve been one other potential draw. Taylor Swift has dominated NFL headlines for the past six months and has been a larger topic of discussion than any player during the season. The pop star’s relationship with Chiefs player, Travis Kelce, and her appearances on various NFL broadcasts, caused many non-football fans to tune into the Superbowl. 

The NFL and Roger Godell clearly knew they were sitting on a cash-cow in Swift the entire season and rode the “bad blood” singer’s appearances on television until the fairytale ending on Feb. 11. Although Swift was only featured on air for around 44 seconds per broadcast, female viewership during Chiefs games in 2023 spiked 65%.  

Kelce has also benefited immensely from this relationship, with Fanatics reporting a 400% increase in Travis Kelce jersey sales since September. Travis and his brother Jason also saw record numbers on their “New Heights” podcast, which soared to Number 1 on the Spotify podcast charts. 

The overtime thriller between the 49ers and Chiefs drew an average household rating of 43.5%, an increase of 7.5% compared to the previous Superbowl. “We are excited to work with CBS, the NFL and Paramount+ to capture a full breadth audience engagement for this record breaking Superbowl,” said Nielsen CEO Karthik Rao. 

These mind-blowing numbers are due in part to Swift’s impact along with the fascinating overtime ending. There is certainly no better combination than the most famous celebrity in the world matched with the biggest event in American sports, the question is…will this record ever be beat? 

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Connor Coppola, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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