That Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl also was the last game not to draw at least 100 million overall television viewers, and Sunday’s game could dip below that mark as well. Last year’s game was watched by 103.4 million viewers, according to the final TV ratings.
With young stars propelling teams to new heights on offense, overall NFL TV ratings rose 5 percent during the regular season, and the AFC championship game between the Patriots and Chiefs on Jan. 20 rose 26 percent compared with the playoff game in the same time slot the year before. But the Super Bowl, a low-scoring, punt-filled game won, 13-3, by New England, did not do as well when compared with recent years.
Ratings obviously were strong in Boston, which drew a 57.4 overnight rating (best for the Super Bowl since 2015), and Los Angeles (44.6, best in that market since 1996). But the Super Bowl’s overall ratings this year may have gotten dragged down slightly by places such as New Orleans, home of a Saints team that many feel was robbed of a chance to play the Patriots because of a missed call in the NFC championship game. According to Mike Scott of Nola.com, the Super Bowl drew a historically low 26.2 overnight rating in that market, a massive decline from the 53 rating the game drew last year in the Big Easy. It was the lowest rating among the 56 metered U.S. markets for Sunday’s game, according to Sports Media Watch (New Orleans ranked seventh nationally for last year’s game).
Ratings also fell 11 percent in Kansas City, whose Chiefs lost to the Patriots in the AFC championship game. Ratings in St. Louis, home city of the Rams from 1995 to 2015 before their return to Los Angeles, were not immediately available.
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