Super Bowl Shows Slight Viewership Rise, National TV Ad Dollars Up 29%

After a year of slightly declining viewership, this year’s big game -- “Super Bowl LIV” -- had a slight rise in traditional TV viewers for the Fox Television Network. It also scored a bigger increase in overall TV ad spending.

Kantar Media’s preliminary estimate shows in-game national TV ad spend for the Super Bowl was $435 million -- up 29% from 2019’s $336 million. The previous high was $390 million for the 2017 game.

Fox witnessed a 2% increase to a Nielsen-measured 99.9 million viewers on its Fox Television Network versus 98.2 million viewers on CBS a year ago. In 2018, on NBC, viewers hit 103.4 million.

When including all platforms where the game ran -- Fox Television Network, Fox Deportes, as well as digital streaming platforms, including, Fox Sports, Verizon, Fox Deportes, and Yahoo Sports -- Fox says it pulled in 102 million viewers.



In 2019, CBS said TV and digital viewing amounted to a collective 100.7 million viewers.

Total national advertising time was 51 minutes/15 seconds -- the third-highest total on record, according to Kantar. National TV advertising had a 24% share of the total football event time.

This year, there were more long-form commercials -- 24 of 59 spots -- that were 60 seconds or longer. A year ago, there were 16 long-form spots. The previous high in 2014 was 23.

Anheuser Busch InBev was the biggest spender at $41 million. PepsiCo was next with $31 million, followed by Procter & Gamble at $30 million and Amazon at $26 million.

Auto manufacturers were the leading Super Bowl advertising category -- $77 million of ad spend and 7 minutes/30 seconds of total automotive commercial time.

Fox ran the least time amount in TV network on-air promos -- 6 minutes/25 seconds -- in the last five years. Last year, CBS ran 9 minutes/21 seconds.

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