Super Bowl Sets Streaming Viewership Record

Sunday night’s Super Bowl may not have broken any TV ratings records, but it broke new ground for consumers who preferred to stream the game online.

CBS says the game drew an average minute audience (one of the closest digital metrics to the Nielsen average viewership standard) of 2.6 million viewers, up 31% from last year’s Super Bowl, and a new streaming record.

That means that at any given minute, some 2.6 million people were streaming the game online. CBS says 7.5 million unique devices streamed the game, up 20% from last year’s game, consuming a total of 560 million minutes of coverage.

Those numbers came despite some technical issues impacting select Roku users.



The stream of the game was more widely available than it has ever been. It was available for free on CBS Sports’ website and apps, the NFL’s digital properties, Verizon’s media properties, and the ESPN Deported digital properties, as well as on linear TV. 

CBS also says the Super Bowl shattered a number of records for its CBS All Access subscription streaming service.

The company says it set a new record for subscriber sign-ups, unique viewers and time spent, though it declined to offer specific figures. The previous single-day sign-up record was spurred on by the launch of the new “Star Trek” series for the streaming service. 

CBS used the Super Bowl as a platform to promote All Access and its upcoming reboot of "The Twilight Zone."

While the streaming numbers are good, they paled in comparison to the linear TV viewership, which averaged around 100 million viewers. As more consumers connect streaming devices to their TV sets, and as mobile viewing options become more plentiful, those streaming figures are expected to rise.

1 comment about "Super Bowl Sets Streaming Viewership Record".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, February 5, 2019 at 2:21 p.m.

    Such record-low TV ratings were inevitable for three reasons:

    1.  The game was lame.  The commercials were tame.  The halftime show was halfbaked.

    2.  The New England Patriots are not the Dallas Cowboys.  Give Brady his due, but ... .

    3.  Defensive Games do not draw "Offensive" Audiences.  Casual NFL viewers lose interest.  And if they lose interest in the Big Game what chance does a Big Commercial have?

    Finally, lest we forget, it is highly probable that Nielsen cannot, or will not, measure all of the historically high streaming audience that CBS/NFL made possible in at least 4 legitimate ways.
    (Not to mention the OOH [Out-Of-Home] Audience!)

    Nielsen is likely using the audio encoding technology of 1995 to measure the visual audience of 2020 and beyond.  Sponsors who paid $5 million per :30 must demand more and better from Nielsen.  Like Super Bowl LIII, this Nielsen Game has gone on for too long.

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