According to Nielsen//NetRatings' Daily Overnight Analysis, Internet traffic on Sunday to SuperBowl.com was the highest ever. Last year, visitors to the official Web site totaled more than 900,000 unique surfers on Super Bowl Sunday, while the 2001 game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens attracted 359,000 unique visitors to SuperBowl.com.
As the game unfolded, fans utilized the Internet in tandem with watching the game on TV. SuperBowl.com experienced the most traffic during the latter half of the game, between 6-10 p.m. In that timeframe, Superbowl.com attracted 9 -13% of the site's daily traffic during each hour. For the third straight year, fans were allowed to vote for the game's most valuable player on SuperBowl.com, prompting online activity to increase during the fourth quarter.
"As the official site for the event, SuperBowl.com was the online source for all the game-day activity, with traffic nearly tripling in size overnight," said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "By delivering real-time content and other special features such as online MVP voting, the Super Bowl brand has become a strong force on the Web with fans and advertisers alike."
"Many of the major brands advertising during Sunday's game will be looking to the Internet throughout this week to gauge the success of their efforts," added Bloom. "Savvy brand marketers know that as colleagues chat about the game and commercials around the office water cooler, word of mouth will drive more visitors to advertisers' sites."
Additionally, Nielsen Media Research reports that ABC's broadcast of the championship game scored a 40.7 rating, making it the highest rated Super Bowl telecast since 1999. Sunday, 43.4 million households tuned into the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders. ABC's online sports partner, ESPN.com, drew more than 1.4 million surfers on Sunday, jumping 29% as compared to Saturday's traffic.