Fox scores Super Bowl ratings touchdown with 113 million viewers, the third most-watched TV program ever
By Oliver Darcy, CNN
(CNN) -- The Super Bowl delivered super ratings for Fox.
The face off between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, a nail biter in which the latter team emerged victorious after a game defining play late in the fourth quarter, averaged 113 million viewers across Fox's television and digital properties, according to early data from Nielsen.
That makes Super Bowl LVII the third most-watched television program of all-time. And it represents the best audience for the big game in six years, topping 2022's showdown, which averaged 112.3 million viewers on NBC.
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Fox Sports said that the Apple Music Halftime Show featuring Rihanna drew an average of 118.7 million viewers, making it the second most-watched performance in Super Bowl history.
As expected, the biggest viewing audiences for the game were in Kansas City and Philadelphia, followed by Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Charlotte, Minneapolis, and St. Louis — all of which had ratings shares over 70.
The numbers underscore yet again that while linear television might be in decline, live sports still command extraordinary audiences.
That said, it is worth noting that the decline of linear is present in the viewership data. Fox said Super Bowl LVII was the most-streamed Super Bowl in history, with an average of 7 million people watching via internet-based services. That figure represents an 18% jump from last year.
And the transition from linear television offerings to programs streaming on platforms such as Netflix and HBO Max might also be evident in what happened after the Super Bowl. Fox said only 15.5 million people stuck around on the network to watch Gordon Ramsay's "Next Level Chef," which was heavily promoted during the game.
"That's the smallest audience for a post-SB hour in modern ratings history," Vulture's Josef Adalian pointed out.
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