There was once a time major scripted series could garner upwards of 100 million viewers from a single airing – but we don’t live in that world anymore. Due to the fracturing of television’s business model (thanks to the advent of cable), it’s hard for many shows to garner even so much as 10 million viewers in a single night, that is except for one: the Super Bowl, and 2015 was no exception.
In fact, with the numbers now tallied, it has been confirmed in various reports that Super Bowl XLIX was, in fact, the most watched airing of the yearly game in history.
As of this afternoon, ratings data for the game says it was viewed by 114.4 million people, surpassing the previous record holder, Super Bowl XLVIII which had a reported audience of 112 million viewers. In addition, this year’s Super Bowl lead-out program, The Blacklist, scored a whapping 26.5 million viewers overall – up from Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine/New Girl combo from last year, but down from NBC’s previous post-Super Bowl airing of The Voice in 2012.
Over the years, NFL broadcasts have remained the only thing still able to attract massive live-viewership while all other programming flounders. However, part of that is due to exclusivity and immediacy; there’s no need to watch Hannibal or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. live if you don’t want to – you can always catch up later on the likes of Hulu, Netflix, etc. But the NFL doesn’t do repeats, and it many ways it’s a now or never deal (such is the case for all sports broadcasting) that only airs on the assigned network in question, as well as the NFL’s official web-site and mobile app (assuming the specific game isn’t blacked out for a national broadcast).
Considering the small screen landscape is only widening thanks to the likes of Amazon and Netflix, we have a feeling the shrinking of live-viewership is only going to continue, and that’s going to make events like the Super Bowl more valuable than ever. Attracting 10-15 million viewers with the likes of The Blacklist is okay – assuming most are in the key 18-49 demo – but attracting a nearly guaranteed audience of over 100 million in a single sitting, that’s the be all end all of advertising dollars right there.
Source: Breaking News