What Super Bowl LV’s ugly TV numbers really mean

mattymoknows

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I don’t think I saw it in the lengthy write up, but I worry for sports in general becoming way too dated. My teenagers and so so many of their friends don’t give a flying **** about watching sports on TV. In contrast myself and my friends were rabid basketball, baseball and football watching fools by middle and high school

I am too lazy to look up but I think I saw a lot of youth sports are seeing declines of participants as well. They got other things they would rather do and play.
Indeed, I have two boys, ages 11 and 13. I've tried for years to get them interested in sports, to no avail. They would much rather watch a YouTube video with some annoying YouTube personalities or play video games than watch or play sports.

I won't force them to watch, or play, sports if they have no interest. They claim most other kids they know don't care much either which is an ominous omen for the future of sports, IMHO.
 

artradley

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Indeed, I have two boys, ages 11 and 13. I've tried for years to get them interested in sports, to no avail. They would much rather watch a YouTube video with some annoying YouTube personalities or play video games than watch or play sports.

I won't force them to watch, or play, sports if they have no interest. They claim most other kids they know don't care much either which is an ominous omen for the future of sports, IMHO.

My son loved playing sports, but had no interest in watching sports on TV until college. Even now, pro football is all he watches.
 

Pepperman

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Nov 4, 2002
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Do you think covid had anything to do with the Super Bowl numbers or is it still obviously politics? Do you have any reasons for feeling it is solely from politics or is it just a gut feeling?

Did you read the story?

I read a bit of the story and believe me, I’m not here to support that this is a result of political disagreements... but I’m not seeing why COVID matters so much to that number? I don’t think you’re suggesting all 450,000 people that died would have boosted the viewership? And to Funkys point the lack of parties and bars being open meant more TVs had to tune in at home. What is the COVID angle I’m not seeing?
 

SoDakHawk

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Sep 14, 2006
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Do you think covid had anything to do with the Super Bowl numbers or is it still obviously politics? Do you have any reasons for feeling it is solely from politics or is it just a gut feeling?

Did you read the story?
You telling me that the interjection of politics into sports this last half decade has had zero effect on ratings? Has it been the cause of all of the decline? No. Has it been a contributing factor? Absolutely. People are getting sick of it.
 

SoDakHawk

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Really? I watched most of the Super Bowl and didn't notice hardly anything political.
You serious? From the Black National Anthem to the Biden's address to the poem to the majority of commercials. Nope. No politics at all.
 

gonegolfing

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We have a lot fewer Americans in this country nowadays. Hell this board is full of American hating scum. Many of those aren't sports fans and would rather watch soccer or snowboarding. Even in this thread we have a number of terrible parents talking about how their kids have become pussies and would rather watch some nerd on youtube build a castle out of legos versus playing or watching a sport.

Sad times.
 

ThorneStockton

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Oct 2, 2009
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I read a bit of the story and believe me, I’m not here to support that this is a result of political disagreements... but I’m not seeing why COVID matters so much to that number? I don’t think you’re suggesting all 450,000 people that died would have boosted the viewership? And to Funkys point the lack of parties and bars being open meant more TVs had to tune in at home. What is the COVID angle I’m not seeing?

I don't have any expertise or any insider insight beyond what can be read in the pasted story, so I'm kind of just the messenger, but here are some relevant passages to another Athletic story that was linked inside the OP that was related to the decline ratings of Alabama's win over OSU and other sports in the pandemic era:


It's not just specific to the Super Bowl but live sports in general, and that the pandemic has accelerated/magnified the other factors like cord cutting, and younger demographic preferences, alternative content, VR, highlights as opposed to full games.

Anyways, I can post the whole thing but these were pandemic specific theories:

"Polling has shown that lack of in-game audience has contributed to a decline in the broadcast viewership."

"The vaccination effort will get fans back to games and sports bars, and that will get them chatting at work and elsewhere with casual fans about sports. Once they return, it helps boost viewership, said Barry Blyn, ESPN’s vice president of consumer insights.

“All the elevator conversation, it’s not happening. We need them to come back,” he said."

"Watch parties are likely to be much less of a thing in 2021 because of COVID-19, so this year’s Super Bowl audience data is going to get intense scrutiny – with culture warriors waving any drop-off as evidence of whatever bogeyman they’ve been warning of is real. "
 
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SoDakHawk

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I will agree that there is a water cooler aspect to all of this. There are times I have tuned into things because there was work conversations about them and it made me interested in checking it out,
 

NoleinATL

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Oct 29, 2006
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My kids have absolutely no interest in watching sports, tho they both played pretty competitively in high school.
TV or streaming sports will die if they are the new market. Die. Dead.

To @billanole point
As for the other young adult demographics, the Super Bowl had a 26.0 rating in adults 18-34, off 9% from last year (28.6) and 21% from 2017 (32.9). It scored a 34.6 in adults 25-54, down 6% from last year (37.0) and 15% from 2017 (40.5).


There will have to be a shift in major sports and how it attracts viewers if those numbers continue a downward trend
 

ThorneStockton

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You telling me that the interjection of politics into sports this last half decade has had zero effect on ratings? Has it been the cause of all of the decline? No. Has it been a contributing factor? Absolutely. People are getting sick of it.

No, I am not telling you that. You were the one who attributed a decline in Super Bowl ratings/viewership as "obviously" because of politics.

I have no problem accepting that certain people are turned off by social justice advocacy, and choose to tune out. I just happen to doubt that it is a a significant reason relative to the others, and I defer to the experts who largely point the finger elsewhere and in more than one direction.
 
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WisestIowan

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H Town (Screwed Up and Slowed Down)
Indeed, I have two boys, ages 11 and 13. I've tried for years to get them interested in sports, to no avail. They would much rather watch a YouTube video with some annoying YouTube personalities or play video games than watch or play sports.

I won't force them to watch, or play, sports if they have no interest. They claim most other kids they know don't care much either which is an ominous omen for the future of sports, IMHO.

I am sorry to tell you this, but your sons may have teh ghey. If they like soccer, that can confirm my suspicions.
 
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UNIowaHawk

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People probably tuned out because they knew the NFL was going to do all they could to help Brady just like they did in the NFCC. They weren’t disappointed.
 

hawkeye54545

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Yes numbers are down because of

Covid
Too much politics
More things to stream
No fans in stands
Not as much sports bar action

To think any of these don't contribute is crazy.
 
Last edited:

SWIowahawks

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How much sports did kids watch in previous generations? Serious question.

I honestly have no idea what those numbers would have looked like 20-30 years ago. I'm 38 now and when I was a kid, you still had the 1 pm kickoff times for Iowa for those games that weren't televised. Now you have all games being televised. If you have the subscription for it, you can watch European/Central/South American soccer leagues now as well.

It's all about options now - I'm not sure lack of interest is the biggest part of declining numbers in my opinion.
As I’ve gotten older (35) I’ve met a lot of new friends and there are a lot of Cubs fans in my area. That was due to WGN for all of us. I’m not sure about them but I would run home off the bus to catch the end of the game if I knew it was a 1:20 first pitch.
 
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ThorneStockton

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I probably watched more sports - relative to what was available to watch - this past year than in previous years. Tuned into a lot more baseball than I normally would, watched RedZone every weekend, watched the Hawks, watched some soccer and F1.

This was mostly because I wasn't really doing anything else that I normally would have. No travel, limited dining out, limited social events, not a whole lot going on.
 

TC Nole OX

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Mar 29, 2002
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People don't want to watch Tom Brady dink & dunk like a Northwestern QB for the thousandth time.

That and the refs helping him whenever a drive stalls. I shut it off just before the half after the repeated bs flags. I'm not watching another NFL game until "Tommy Terrific" retires. The outcomes in the big games are scripted and the storyline authors seem to be lost without continually using their 20 year golden boy.
 

Jimmy McGill

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That and the refs helping him whenever a drive stalls. I shut it off just before the half after the repeated bs flags. I'm not watching another NFL game until "Tommy Terrific" retires. The outcomes in the big games are scripted and the storyline authors seem to be lost without continually using their 20 year golden boy.

This
 

hawkeye54545

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That and the refs helping him whenever a drive stalls. I shut it off just before the half after the repeated bs flags. I'm not watching another NFL game until "Tommy Terrific" retires. The outcomes in the big games are scripted and the storyline authors seem to be lost without continually using their 20 year golden boy.
I'm a Chiefs fan and even though the officiating wasn't great it wasn't the refs pass blocking or dropping balls.

I do understand why people feel that way though because it feels like Brady always benefits. I say that as someone who actually like Brady.
 
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Pepperman

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I don't have any expertise or any insider insight beyond what can be read in the pasted story, so I'm kind of just the messenger, but here are some relevant passages to another Athletic story that was linked inside the OP that was related to the decline ratings of Alabama's win over OSU and other sports in the pandemic era:


It's not just specific to the Super Bowl but live sports in general, and that the pandemic has accelerated/magnified the other factors like cord cutting, and younger demographic preferences, alternative content, VR, highlights as opposed to full games.

Anyways, I can post the whole thing but these were pandemic specific theories:

"Polling has shown that lack of in-game audience has contributed to a decline in the broadcast viewership."

"The vaccination effort will get fans back to games and sports bars, and that will get them chatting at work and elsewhere with casual fans about sports. Once they return, it helps boost viewership, said Barry Blyn, ESPN’s vice president of consumer insights.

“All the elevator conversation, it’s not happening. We need them to come back,” he said."

"Watch parties are likely to be much less of a thing in 2021 because of COVID-19, so this year’s Super Bowl audience data is going to get intense scrutiny – with culture warriors waving any drop-off as evidence of whatever bogeyman they’ve been warning of is real. "

that makes more sense, but then as you said in another post the lack of other things to do has caused many to watch more live sports... netted out, I am not sure COVID really dents TV viewership of live sports that much. At the very least there are plenty of arguments in favor as well as plenty against, so it’s impossible to know for sure.
 
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ThorneStockton

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that makes more sense, but then as you said in another post the lack of other things to do has caused many to watch more live sports... netted out, I am not sure COVID really dents TV viewership of live sports that much. At the very least there are plenty of arguments in favor as well as plenty against, so it’s impossible to know for sure.

Another issue that was cited, but wouldn't have impacted the Super Bowl was just the changing schedules. Events being moved, competing with other events, not taking place during their usual times.

Things like the Masters and Kentucky Derby, baseball starting in July, etc.
 
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millah_22

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Companies releasing their commercials before the super bowl gives no incentive for the non-fan to tune in.
 

srams21

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You serious? From the Black National Anthem to the Biden's address to the poem to the majority of commercials. Nope. No politics at all.
I didn't catch the national anthem. A two minute appearance from the President is barely anything. And how the hell is a poem political?

I think you are seeing things as political that maybe aren't.
 
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Gonolz

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Aug 6, 2002
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That was some damn fine "ugly tv". Bucs are Super Bowl champs and Brady has now sealed my vote as GOAT.
 
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bagdropper

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I personally believe TV sports audiences are slowly but surely eroding because of the time investment involved.

To squeeze every advertising dollar out of the massive rights fees that are paid, we are inundated with more commercials and advertising than actual game action with just about everything it seems. And now with replay and how these games have evolved to where even when there's the game itself showing, we've added another 15-20 "just to get the play called correct" where the audience is sitting watching replay after replay of whether a toe touched out of bounds or not.

My hunch is "the younger generation" just ain't got time for that. They'll certainly play some sort of video game for that long because they're actually participating.

But merely watching...nope. Too long, bored, gonna do something else ,see ya.



A baseball game shouldn't take 3 hours and 30 minutes. A football game shouldn't take 3 hours. Seemed like when I was a kid they were both roughly 2 hours 30 minutes tops. I remember the late Sunday afternoon NFL game rarely went into the 6pm hour...now they always do and in some cases darn near touch 7pm.

That's simply too damn long.
 

swagsurfer02

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Throw in Mahomes turf toe, KC oline issues and their defense being suspect and it wasn’t the flags that did them in.

Tampa is the better team, the offenses are pretty similar from a talent standpoint, until you got to the trenches but the defenses weren’t close in terms of personnel talent.
 

gusto79

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I didn't catch the national anthem. A two minute appearance from the President is barely anything. And how the hell is a poem political?

I think you are seeing things as political that maybe aren't.
I was wondering about the poem. I wasn't paying much attention but didn't remember it being political. So I just checked. Here's the poem.

Today we honor our three captains
For their actions and impact in
A time of uncertainty and need.
They've taken the lead,
Exceeding all expectations and limitations,
Uplifting their communities and neighbors
As leaders, healers and educators.

James has felt the wounds of warfare,
But this warrior still shares
His home with at-risk kids.
During Covid, he's even lent a hand
Live-streaming football for family and fans.

Trimaine is an educator who works nonstop,
Providing his community with hotspots,
Laptops and tech workshops,
So his students have all the tools
They need to succeed in life and in school.

Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa hospital.
Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible.
She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic,
And fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone,
Defining the front line heroes risking their lives for our own.

Let us walk with these warriors,
Charge on with these champions,
And carry forth the call of our captains!
We celebrate them by acting
With courage and compassion,
By doing what is right and just.
For while we honor them today,
It is they who every day honor us.

@SoDakHawk what is political about this?
 

coloradonoles

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Mar 29, 2002
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Is that the same for college football?
Not sure what you mean... but a few things.

College football is nowhere near as woke as the NFL
While the NC game viewership was down the Semis were actually up almost 10%
OSU was an unlikeable team who many didn't think even deserved a shot in the Final 4.
College football had a slew of games cancelled/postponed while the NFL played a full schedule.
2 of the Power 5 didn't play until Nov. Ohio State only played 6 regular season games

I'm not unsympathetic to their concerns... but it is a classic example of the message is being lost on the delivery. And when you regulate the narrative (i.e. this topic is ok, and this one is not...) it further divides the ones on the fence.
 

lucas80

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I was wondering about the poem. I wasn't paying much attention but didn't remember it being political. So I just checked. Here's the poem.

Today we honor our three captains
For their actions and impact in
A time of uncertainty and need.
They've taken the lead,
Exceeding all expectations and limitations,
Uplifting their communities and neighbors
As leaders, healers and educators.

James has felt the wounds of warfare,
But this warrior still shares
His home with at-risk kids.
During Covid, he's even lent a hand
Live-streaming football for family and fans.

Trimaine is an educator who works nonstop,
Providing his community with hotspots,
Laptops and tech workshops,
So his students have all the tools
They need to succeed in life and in school.

Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa hospital.
Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible.
She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic,
And fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone,
Defining the front line heroes risking their lives for our own.

Let us walk with these warriors,
Charge on with these champions,
And carry forth the call of our captains!
We celebrate them by acting
With courage and compassion,
By doing what is right and just.
For while we honor them today,
It is they who every day honor us.

@SoDakHawk what is political about this?
No white men in the bunch being honored.
 

lucas80

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Jan 30, 2008
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Another issue that was cited, but wouldn't have impacted the Super Bowl was just the changing schedules. Events being moved, competing with other events, not taking place during their usual times.

Things like the Masters and Kentucky Derby, baseball starting in July, etc.
I think there is a lot to this. Rescheduled games. Cancelled games (Look at how the Iowa FB season ended). The Triple Crown out of order and the Masters in the Fall. No fans in the stands and no game watches in bars or house parties. The less passionate fan was not drawn in this year.
 

runkpanole

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Nov 17, 2002
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Not sure what you mean... but a few things.

College football is nowhere near as woke as the NFL
While the NC game viewership was down the Semis were actually up almost 10%
OSU was an unlikeable team who many didn't think even deserved a shot in the Final 4.
College football had a slew of games cancelled/postponed while the NFL played a full schedule.
2 of the Power 5 didn't play until Nov. Ohio State only played 6 regular season games

I'm not unsympathetic to their concerns... but it is a classic example of the message is being lost on the delivery. And when you regulate the narrative (i.e. this topic is ok, and this one is not...) it further divides the ones on the fence.
The National Championship game was down 27%.
 

alaskanseminole

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Oct 20, 2002
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People were encouraged not to go to parties. The NFL brilliantly decided to keep the game scheduled for dinnertime on the East Coast.
Yup, I watched it alone in my living room. Pretty much tuned it out mid-way through the 3rd and then off in the 4th and switched to HBO Max. Only commercial I even remember slightly chuckling at was the Gwen S. and Blake S. one. ...and Tampa is my team, so I pretty much blame COVID-19. When you can't enjoy the game w/ others, then why bother?
 
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coloradonoles

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The National Championship game was down 27%.
I get that.

Both Semis were up.
The Peach Bowl was up 39%
Cotton Bowl was up 3%
Orange bowl was up 25%

So the NY6 Bowls were all up and marked the 3rd most watched day ever.

Was it an outlier? who knows.

You clearly don't think the NFL is suffering from wokeness... fine.

But the NFL rating were down 4% on the year, while playing every game.
 

runkpanole

HR Legend
Nov 17, 2002
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I get that.

Both Semis were up.
The Peach Bowl was up 39%
Cotton Bowl was up 3%
Orange bowl was up 25%

So the NY6 Bowls were all up and marked the 3rd most watched day ever.

Was it an outlier? who knows.

You clearly don't think the NFL is suffering from wokeness... fine.

But the NFL rating were down 4% on the year, while playing every game.
The top 10 games in 2020 viewing wise was well below the top 10 games in 2019.
 

Jcchawk

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Oct 29, 2001
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My kids have absolutely no interest in watching sports, tho they both played pretty competitively in high school.
TV or streaming sports will die if they are the new market. Die. Dead.
Even though the numbers are down name an event that draws near those numbers..
 
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Feb 9, 2013
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Football is an incredibly boring sport to watch on television. It’s already lacking in action and the incessant commercials, timeouts and replay delays kill any remaining enjoyment for me.

I haven’t watched an entire game in years.
 

Titanhawk2

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Jul 14, 2011
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"First, it wasn’t a particularly good game " - So this says that if it were a better game, more people would have heard about it and started watching in the middle? Sorry, bogus. Fewer people wanted to watch from the beginning