ARIZONA CARDINALS

Super Bowl ratings for Chiefs-Bucs plummet during pandemic

Feb 9, 2021, 8:10 AM

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) sits on the turf during the second half of the ...

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) sits on the turf during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

It didn’t help that the Kansas City Chiefs’ high-powered offense kicked three field goals and never threatened the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who gradually pulled away for a 31-9 Super Bowl LV win on Sunday.

Throw in the already concerning sports viewership trends during a pandemic, and the Super Bowl’s television ratings were bound to drop.

The national ratings released by Nielsen was delayed through Monday, which raised assumptions that CBS, which broadcasted the game, was searching for ways to present down ratings.

On Tuesday morning, it was revealed that 96.4 million people tuned in to the NFL’s season finale across all platforms.

CBS posted a traditional TV format average of 91.6 million viewers, according to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, which is the lowest since 2007. Of course, that means the streaming average of 5.7 million is a record, up 65% from the record set in 2020.

Though Super Bowl LV will be the clear-cut most-watched event of 2021, it suffered a 9% drop that aligns with a 7% overall viewership drop for the NFL this season, according to Ourand.

In the Phoenix market, there was an 8% ratings drop from a year prior, according to Sports Business Journal.

The total viewership came across all platforms, including the CBS Television Network, CBS Sports and NFL digital properties, Buccaneers and Chiefs mobile properties, Verizon Media mobile properties and ESPN Deportes television and digital properties.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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