AdImpact: Super Bowl Viewing Peaked at 115.5M

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New data from AdImpact indicates that viewing for Super Bowl LVIII may have peaked at 115.5 million and that most viewers watched the game on linear television (59%), while 14% watched on YouTube TV. Twenty-seven percent watched on other various streaming services. 

Official Nielsen numbers aren’t yet available but the AdImpact data puts the game on track to possibly beat out last year’s Super Bowl, which had over 115 million viewers. 

During the game, where Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in only the second overtime in Super Bowl history, AdImpact also noted that advertising trends from the past continued as beer and sports betting commercials reigned supreme. Unlike past years, however, last night’s advertising saw an increase in electric vehicle (EV) ads and a notable absence of crypto spots.

In a timeline of viewing levels, AdImpact noted that viewership spiked to 66.4 million at the 6:30PM ET kickoff. When 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey lost a fumble to end the opening drive, viewership stood at 89 million. At the conclusion of a scoreless first quarter, 111 million. 

Viewership remained stagnant throughout the second quarter, as San Francisco built a 10 point lead. When the 49ers scored their first touchdown on a trick play, 111 million viewers watched. 

Super Bowl viewership peaked at 8:22 PM ET at 115.5 million viewers, right before Usher took the stage for the Halftime show. 

Viewership stood at 114 million at the start of the third quarter. Towards the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs scored their first touchdown of the game, giving them their first lead. 

Viewership slightly declined in the fourth quarter to 113 million viewers, however, the game remained competitive with the score at 13-10. Viewership at the 2-minute warning stood at 112.2 million. Within the last two minutes of regulation, the 49ers kicked a field goal to take the lead at 19-16, but the Chiefs sent the game into overtime with a game-tying field goal with five seconds left.

Overtime began at 10:17 PM ET with 114.4 million still watching. The 49ers started the period with possession but were limited to a field goal. With the new overtime rules, the Chiefs would get one more opportunity to either tie or win the game. As the Chiefs drive began, 112 million were watching to see if the Chiefs could repeat as back-to-back Super Bowl champions. That feat was accomplished when 111 million viewers watched as Patrick Mahomes threw the game winning touch-down at 10:46 PM ET. Viewership exponentially dropped off to only 71 million when the Chiefs lifted the Lombardi trophy.

(Image credit: AdImpact)