The Most-Watched Super Bowls of All Time

October 18, 2023

Super Bowl LVII: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs beat Eagles, 38-35

The Super Bowl is not just a game; it’s an experience that captivates millions of viewers every year. From thrilling touchdowns to dazzling halftime performances, this annual event sets the tone for sports festivities. Let’s delve deep into the history of the most-watched Super Bowls of all time.

Super Bowl LVII (2023) Sets A New Record

Super Bowl LVII has earned the prestigious title of being the most-watched Super Bowl ever, recording an astounding viewership of 115.1 million.

The Battle That Held The World Captive

On February 12, the Kansas City Chiefs clinched victory against the Philadelphia Eagles with a score of 38-35. Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl LVII MVP after rallying the Chiefs on a hurt ankle.

Nielsen’s Rating Rollercoaster for Super Bowl LVII

In the intricate world of television ratings, accuracy is paramount. Nielsen initially reported the broadcast was watched by 113.06 million viewers. However, this number required recalibration. Due to an external encoding issue, a fraction of FOX’s viewers were mistakenly attributed to the NFL Network.

Furthermore, a “meter firmware upgrade” impacted the audience estimates by wrongfully allocating FOX minutes to DVR playback. These discrepancies led Nielsen to reissue the data for the Super Bowl and other select programs on FOX and NFL Network.

Rihanna’s Halftime Show: A Performance for the Ages

The adjustments in the numbers further highlighted the spectacle’s grandeur, making Rihanna’s halftime show the most-watched Super Bowl halftime ever with an impressive 121 million viewers.

Super Bowl XLIX (2015) - The Previous Record Holder

Super Bowl XLIX was the most-watched before LVII, with 114.4 million viewers. The New England Patriots triumphed over the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24. The MVP of this game was Tom Brady.

Super Bowl LVI (2022) - Rams Win at Home

Super Bowl LVI drew an audience of 112.3 million viewers across all platforms in the United States. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20. The MVP of this game was Cooper Kupp.

Super Bowl L (2016) - Entering The Digital Age

Super Bowl 50 -- Von Miller of Denver Broncos named Most Valuable Player -  ESPN

2016’s Super Bowl L marked a significant viewership of 111.9 million. Starting in 2016, Nielsen revamped its approach by incorporating out-of-home streaming. This game saw the Denver Broncos beating the Carolina Panthers 24-10, with Von Miller grabbing the MVP title.

Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) - Steady Rise in Viewership

Super Bowl XLVIII drew in 111.5 million viewers. The Seattle Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos, ending with a 43-8 score. Malcolm Smith was named the MVP.

Super Bowl XLVI (2012) - Another Monumental Year

Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 boasted 111.35 million viewers. The New York Giants narrowly bested the New England Patriots 21-17. Eli Manning was crowned the MVP.

Super Bowl LI (2017) - Continuing The Legacy

Super Bowl LI in 2017 attracted 111.32 million viewers. The New England Patriots overcame the Atlanta Falcons in a thrilling 34-28 victory. Tom Brady was, once again, named the MVP.

Super Bowl XLV (2011) - A Decade Ago Yet Memorable

2011’s Super Bowl XLV recorded an impressive 111 million viewers. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. The MVP honor went to Aaron Rodgers.

Super Bowl XLVII (2013) - The Underrated Gem

Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 witnessed 108.7 million viewers. The Baltimore Ravens triumphed over the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. Joe Flacco was deemed the MVP.

Super Bowl XLIV (2010) - Kicking Off a Decade

Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 amassed 106 million viewers. The New Orleans Saints emerged victorious against the Indianapolis Colts with a score of 31-17. Drew Brees was named the MVP.

Super Bowl LII (2018) - The Modern Era Continues

Super Bowl LII in 2018 captivated 103.4 million viewers, maintaining the Super Bowl’s renowned reputation for drawing immense viewership numbers. In a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats, the Philadelphia Eagles emerged victorious over the New England Patriots with a score of 41-33.

Nick Foles was deservedly named the Super Bowl MVP. His leadership and prowess on the field were undeniable, guiding his team to one of the most memorable Super Bowl wins in recent history.

As you just realized, while Super Bowl LVI, played on February 13, 2022, between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams, averaged an impressive 112.3 million viewers across all platforms in the United States, it wasn’t the most viewed of all time. If you’re still a loyal Bengals fan, you can continue supporting them with legal sportsbooks in the state, and even claim special offers such as the Bet365 Ohio promo code.

Final Thoughts

Super Bowl 2015 Winner: Patriots Beat Seahawks – The Hollywood Reporter

In the annals of American sporting events, the Super Bowl stands as a monumental testament to the nation’s love for football. Time and again, it has captivated the hearts and minds of millions, with its viewership numbers serving as a reflection of its escalating popularity.

Super Bowl LVII, with the Chiefs’ nail-biting win over the Eagles, set the gold standard by drawing a record-breaking 115.1 million viewers. This game not only outperformed its immediate predecessor, Super Bowl LVI, but also outshone the previous record holder, Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, which had 114.4 million viewers. This ascent in viewership is not just a random spike but the result of years of consistent growth.

The decade prior to Super Bowl LVII saw its fair share of memorable games, each etching its mark in history. The 2015 game between the Patriots and Seahawks; the 2014 spectacle with the Seahawks overpowering the Broncos; the 2016 Broncos’ victory over the Panthers; the list goes on, each year adding to the Super Bowl’s legacy. The viewership figures from these years, often crossing the 110 million mark, illuminate the event’s towering presence in the entertainment industry.

Moreover, Nielsen’s role in providing these figures is paramount. Their methodology, which evolved in 2016 to account for out-of-home streaming, ensures that these numbers are reflective of the game’s true reach. The recent recalibration for Super Bowl LVII’s numbers, due to technical issues, underpins the meticulousness required in such assessments.

Rihanna’s halftime performance during Super Bowl LVII deserves special mention. Drawing a staggering 121 million viewers, it stands as the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show, cementing its place in entertainment history.

In conclusion, the Super Bowl is more than just a game. It’s an annual event that transcends the boundaries of sport, weaving itself into the cultural fabric of America. Its viewership records are not mere numbers but a testament to its enduring appeal and its ability to unify people in celebration. As each year passes, the Super Bowl continues to redefine its legacy, promising even grander spectacles in the years to come.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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