The news: Super Bowl LVI was the most-watched Super Bowl in the last five years, marking a return to pre-pandemic normals and reinforcing the event’s place as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for advertisers and broadcasters.
By the numbers: In total, 149.9 million viewers tuned in to watch all or some of the game across TV and streaming platforms, with an average viewership per minute of 121 million, per iSpot.tv.
A year of firsts: This Super Bowl was a testing ground for the post-pandemic normal. The broadcast introduced new measurement tactics, a slew of first-time advertisers, and the event’s first ever Spanish-language broadcast on NBCUniversal subsidiary Telemundo.
Despite the surge in traffic, some of those newcomers failed to stick the landing. Coinbase’s ad, which featured a bouncing QR code, drove so much traffic that its platform crashed. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, also held a post-game virtual concert featuring The Foo Fighters that was underwhelming and riddled with issues. These issues prompted comparisons to 2000’s “Dot-Com Bowl.”
NBCUniversal’s much-needed win: The event’s strong ratings were likely a comfort to NBCU, which has spent over half a year reeling from the Summer—and now Winter—Olympics’ underwhelming performances.
Looking forward: The worlds of sports viewership and TV advertising are in flux, but the Super Bowl remains a key event for both broadcasters and advertisers, who are slowly gaining access to the tools needed to accurately measure impact across viewing channels.
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