The most watched event in the history of American television. In addition to the Kansas City Chiefs' epic victory against the San Francisco 49ers, this is the big headline left by last Sunday's Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA). The number is impressive and far exceeds the previous one: 123.4 million viewers watched the final of the American Soccer League for four and a half hours, and no fewer than 202.4 million viewers watched the broadcast at some point, in a game that lasted particularly long , until it went into overtime, the second in the trophy's 58-year history, and which featured a crowd-pleasing guest: Taylor Swift.
The game's previous attendance record wasn't long ago: it was reached last year when the Chiefs won again, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. Then there were an average of 115.1 million people who felt connected to the show; and around 181 people who stopped by to see it at some point. Although Super Bowl attendance typically increases slightly each year, this year the jump was huge: 7%, nearly nine million viewers on average and 10% on one-time viewing. According to media outlets such as CNN and Variety, these 202 million people represent the maximum viewership ever officially recorded for a television event in the United States. There are no exact dates, but it is estimated that Man's Arrival on the Moon, shown on television in July 1969, gathered between 125 and 150 million viewers in front of the screens who followed the Apollo 11 moon landing. Of course, the world, and especially the world of entertainment, was different 55 years ago with just a handful of channels, far fewer televisions and of course no internet, platforms or anything like that.
In this case, the largest number of viewers came from traditional television, those who watched it on the CBS network: 112 million, which is the highest peak for a network in United States history. The rest comes with Paramount+ (which streamed). it), Nickelodeon (with a children's version presented by SpongeBob SquarePants), Univisión (in Spanish), CBS Sports and NFL digital.
The reasons for the spike in Super Bowl viewership are difficult to understand, but there are two clear and crucial reasons. On the one hand, this was one of the longest of the 58 editions of the Cup Final, which celebrates the best team in the American Football League (NFL). In total the game lasted 3 hours and 44 minutes; They usually last around three hours. Only two in its history (and one of which was due in part to a 30-minute technical disruption due to a power outage) lasted longer than four. With an effective playing time of 74 minutes and 57 seconds, this LVIII Super Bowl is the most minutes played in history and the seventh longest NFL game. In fact, it took that long because there was a tie and it took until the fifth quarter (usually there are four). With a difficult start, the fourth and especially the fifth quarter were exciting and managed to captivate perhaps not so loyal spectators. This also applies to the halftime break with Usher's music and advertising (costing seven million dollars per 30 seconds), regular protagonists of the day. During one of the commercial breaks, Beyoncé announced a new album.
Usher, at halftime of the 2024 Super Bowl. Associated Press/LaPresse (APN)
But there was another compelling element that drew many new fans to watch this game, which, like the regular season this year, continued to grow in viewership. And that talisman is Taylor Swift. The artist is one of the most powerful and manages to attract the most audience in the world of entertainment; In fact, she is in the middle of a tour of more than 150 concerts around the planet, for which she immediately sold out all the tickets and which has made her a billionaire; This concert, The Eras Tour, was also shown in theaters and broke box office records for a concert around the world, grossing over $260 million. Swift, 34, attracts the crowds, especially millennial women, and turns everything she touches into gold; In fact, his involvement in the political issue is highly anticipated in the next US elections in November, where experts say he could influence the vote.
Therefore, his presence came as a shock to a part of the audience that is not always a regular at the Super Bowl but wanted to see their idol in the stands. She flew from Tokyo, where she gave a concert the day before, so that she could be at the finale. The reason was none other than to see his partner, Kansas City Chiefs tight end and star Travis Kelce, on the field for about six months. The artist has attended almost every Kelce game since last September, which has already been evident in the growing viewership, not to mention T-shirt sales, which have multiplied. And Swift was barely seen on screen, despite the complaints of some NFL fans. A total of 54 seconds, less than a minute. At nearly four hours of gameplay, it doesn't seem crazy, but they more than made up for it.
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