That viewership is the lowest since 2007’s Super Bowl XLI between the Colts and the Bears which drew a viewership of 93.2 million viewers.
Via NFL.com, the upside to the low television numbers was an increase in livestreaming. However, the Tampa Bay market was third among markets who watched, behind Kansas City and Boston.
CBS said Sunday’s championship was the most live-streamed NFL game, averaging 5.7 million viewers per minute, up 65% from last year’s Super Bowl. It was also the first NFL game to deliver more than 1 billion total streaming minutes.
Kansas City led all metered markets with a 59.9 rating, an increase of 8% over its Super Bowl rating from last year. The Boston market, buoyed by Tampa Bay and ex-Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, was second at 57. Tampa was third at 52.3
There is a lot of talk about why the numbers were down. A lot of it is pointing to politics in the game the NFL brought in, and also the pandemic which limited watch parties. But there is something else not being mentioned.
Despite there being limited watch parties across the country and also locally in Tampa, that didn’t stop people from congregating in massive crowds throughout Ybor City, Downtown Tampa, as well as thousands more around the streets of Raymond James Stadium. With Tampa being the host city and the Buccaneers playing in the big game, many flocked to the streets during the game to be a part of the Super Bowl in some way. And those around the stadium listened in and caught the action in some form off of the stadium’s screens from the streets, especially after halftime when fans started to make their way there as the game had pretty much been decided.
There may not have been watch parties or people watching from home, but there certainly were parties in the streets throughout Tampa. The numbers will not reflect that, unfortunately.