Super Bowl Ratings Up Over Last Year

Gwen Stefani and her band, No Doubt, made one of the most-watched plays of Super Bowl Sunday according to TiVo viewers.

The digital video recording service announced the results of its own Super Bowl polling, tracking both viewership and advertising. In a news conference Monday afternoon, TiVo executives said about 48% of subscribers watched the Super Bowl.

TiVO SVP/General Manager Brodie Keast said the big winner – beyond Tampa Bay – was fictional character Office Linebacker Taylor Tate. The Reebok spot was the most-watched among TiVo viewers. Four of the remaining five most-watched commercials came from Anheuser-Busch, which again this year was the Super Bowl’s top advertiser.

“Viewers watch the content that they find most compelling, even when the most compelling content is the commercials,” Keast said.

The game’s top play, according to 10,000 randomly selected TiVo viewers, was Dwight Smith’s 44-yard return following an interception. Viewership dropped off significantly during halftime game analysis but spiked upward with the halftime entertainment, which included a performance by No Doubt.



A key TiVo feature, the Trickplay that allows the pausing, rewinding and fast forwarding of live broadcasts, was accessed an average of 40 times per TiVo household during the game.

“TiVo viewers have a much different experience in the Super Bowl … Viewers made their own decisions [on what to watch and review],” Keast said.

A real-time interactive advertising ranking system developed by McKee Wallwork Henderson Advertising gave top honors to the “Castaway” commercial created by Fed Ex. Adbowl received more than 167,000 votes through wireless phones and on the website during the game.

In addition to the Fed Ex box, the top five spots as ranked by Adbowl were Budweiser “Clydesdales Replay,” Reebok “Terry Tate Office Linebacker,” Bud Light “Dreadlock Dog” and Sierra Mist “Monkey Catapult.” The commercial least liked by viewers participating in Adbowl during the Super Bowl was the Sierra cash Back advertisement created by GMC.

USA Today’s Web site poll of favorite and least-favorite spots garnered 20,000 votes by mid-afternoon Monday, less than 24 hours after the game started. It, too, ranked Reebok’s Terry Tate ad as tops with 4,531 votes or 21%. Anheuser-Busch’s Instant Replay spot, featuring a zebra and Clydesdales, was in second place with 4,387 votes or 20% of the total. Also receiving votes were Anheuser-Busch’s Clown Suit, Pepsi Twist’s Osbournes meet the Osmonds, and FedEx’s Desert Island Castaway takeoff. Least favorite, according to USA Today voters? Levi’s Stampede – 1,339 votes, or 13% of the total – Subway Jared’s Dream and Chrysler’s Celine Dion spot. The Pepsi Twist ad featuring the Osbournes garnered 585 “least favorite” votes as well, putting it in fifth place on that list, too.

According to overnight statistics available Monday afternoon, Super Bowl XXVII delivered a 43.8 rating and 62 share, up 3% from last year’s 42.5/61 on Fox. Sunday night’s game was the second most-watched Super Bowl in history with 137.65 million viewing at least some of the game between 6:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.

The average audience was 88.64 million viewers, the largest average audience for the Super Bowl since 1998, ABC said. Ratings among adults 18-49 was 36.4 and among adults 18-34 it was an 34.2.

That far outweighed anything else on TV that night, including new programs on NBC. The Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Halftime Special received about a 3.5 rating/5 share among metered market households when it aired between 8:04 p.m. and 8:34 p.m. NBC said the national numbers were unreliable since it aired live across every time zone. Dateline, which was listed as first-run, did a 3.5/5 in metered market households and in preliminary nationals, did a 1.6/3 among adults 18-49 and 5 million viewers overall.

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