When the Kansas Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles meet on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to decide the champion of the National Football League in Super Bowl LVII, more than 100 million people will be watching.
To determine the most-watched Super Bowls, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from Nielsen and Sports Media Watch. Super Bowls were ranked based on total reported television audience. Official results and MVP awards came from ESPN.
The Super Bowl has been America’s biggest party day of the year for decades, where bowls of chili, plates of buffalo wings, trays of sliders, buckets of guacamole, and gallons of beer are consumed. It didn’t start out that way. When the game was first played in 1967, just 26.8 million people, watching on two networks, saw the old-guard Green Bay Packers of the NFL demolish the upstart Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, 35-10. Viewership soared 46% the following year to 39.1 million.
Interest has steadily grown over the years, despite the fact some of the games were mismatches, buoyed by the debut of memorable commercials and halftime shows featuring such acts as Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones. (See who has performed at every Super Bowl halftime show.)
The best games tend to garner the highest television ratings, as viewers quickly tune out if the action is less than exciting. Seven of the 12 highest-viewed Super Bowls were games decided by six points or less.
The 10 most-watched Super Bowls have all been since 2010. And sorry, haters of the New England Patriots – that six-time Super Bowl champion team has been in four of the most-viewed title games of all time. (On the other hand, these are the 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl.)
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