An estimated 103.4 million people watched the Super Bowl on NBC Customized Indianapolis Colts Jerseys , a 7 percent drop from last year that indicates that television’s biggest event may have peaked in popularity.
The Nielsen company said it’s the smallest Super Bowl audience on television since 2009 despite the underdog Philadelphia Eagles beating the New England Patriots in a thrilling game that was close from start to finish.
Last year’s Patriots-Falcons game reached 111.3 million viewers. The all-time Super Bowl record – and record for any television event in the United States – was the 114.4 million who watched the Patriots against the Seahawks in 2015.
The NFL’s viewership has been down this year, with experts citing factors like increased injuries, some confusing rules changes and anger at players protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Similarly, fewer people have cable than they did a few years ago, with streaming onto hand-held devices becoming more popular.
The dip was also telegraphed by a poll conducted last week by Seton Hall University, which found that 54 percent of Americans were preparing to watch the game. That’s down from the 68 percent that said the same thing two years ago, according to the poll, which wasn’t done in 2017. The poll has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.
Despite that prediction Customized Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys , the poll’s director said he thought the game’s quality would lift the numbers beyond what was actually seen.
”If you turned the game on at any time to say, `I wonder what’s going on,’ or a friend texted you to say you should watch this, you’re going to watch and get hooked,” said Rick Gentile, director of the poll, also sponsored by the Sharkey Institute.
NBC said that if you add in people who followed the game online, viewership increased to 106 million. And Nielsen said it has not yet counted the number of people who watched the game outside of homes – in a bar Customized Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys , for instance. Some perspective: despite the decrease, Sunday’s game ranked as the 10th most-watched television even in U.S. history.
Soothing any hurt for NBC was Kantar Media’s estimate that $414 million was spent on advertising for the Super Bowl telecast. That’s second only to the $419 million spent last year, a figure that Kantar said exceeded 2018 only because last year’s game went into overtime, meaning there was more time to sell ads.
The network was able to remind millions of people that the Winter Olympics, which will also be televised by NBC, begin on Thursday.
Justin Timberlake’s halftime show, despite tepid reviews, drew an audience of 106.6 million people Youth Cordy Glenn Jersey , Nielsen said.
NBC’s post-game telecast of ”This is Us” was a winning choice. Nielsen said 27 million people stayed for the drama, the most-watched post-game entertainment show in six years and sharply above the 17.6 million people who watched the premiere of ”24: Legacy” on Fox last year.
And extra kibble is being handed out over at Animal Planet. The cable network’s annual ”Puppy Bowl” of cute animals, shown opposite NBC’s pregame show, reached 3.05 million people. That was the show’s biggest audience in its 14 years of existence.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared from the concussion protocol and will play in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gronkowski participated fully in practice on Thursday. Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise also practiced after being cleared from the concussion protocol. Malcolm Butler (illness) and Brandon King (knee) also participated in the workout.
Gronk said he is ”ready to roll” and has no limitations. He had been sidelined since taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville’s Barry Church in the first half of New England’s AFC championship game win.
The All-Pro tight end missed last year’s Super Bowl win over Atlanta after undergoing back surgery.
Gronkowski said he believes that the team doctors were just using the bye week to be as cautious with the injury as possible.
”We knew the whole time I was gonna be good to go,” he said. ”I was progressing really good throughout the week. We just knew I’d be ready and we’ve been practicing like we always do.”
Gronkowski led the team in receiving during the regular season with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.
His return gives quarterback Tom Brady another key option against an Eagles defense that finished the regular season ranked fourth in the NFL in defense.
Philadelphia is giving up 229 yards per game through the air in the playoffs. New England comes in averaging 318 yards passing during the postseason.
”He’s a dynamic player. He means a ton to our offense. He really has since he got to our team. It’s always great when he’s out there,” Brady said.
”I’ve played with him a long time, I’ve thrown him a lot of footballs. He knows exactly what to do Customized Arizona Cardinals Jerseys , he knows where to expect the ball, when to expect it. He’s just a tremendous player for our team.”
In addition to Gronk’s return to practice, the Patriots also got a visit from former defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who won Super Bowls with New England during the 2004 and 2014 seasons.
Gronkowski said it was always nice to have ”a great teammate” such as Wilfork around, but declined to say what words of motivation he offered the team.
”What he said was definitely inspiring – to just cherish the moment,” Gronkowski said. ”But other than that, it was good for our team. And I’ll just keep it at that.”