SuperBowl viewer Demographics

I’ve been waiting for this, no surprise that demographics show the largest increases coming from Women 18-24, but also slightly smaller increases Men 18-24. In fact it appears that the increases (and they are increases) get more muted the farther up the age scale you go … until you get to 55+, where the increases pop once again.

The effect of the Little Red Superstar cannot be denied - and for this much of a total increase, well I attribute that to the hype and hoopla surrounding her - the romance on field - and the play of the game itself, which turned into an overtime nail biter. Of course there’s always hype and hoopla over the SuperBowl, but this year it was beyond measure, so far as I can remember.

Super Bowl ratings breakdown: Biggest gains in young, female, demos - Sports Media Watch).

Super Bowl ratings breakdown: Biggest gains in young, female, demos

Super Bowl viewership increased in every single demographic, but no more than in the young and female demos that attracted so much attention this season.

The biggest year-over-year gain in Super Bowl viewership this year was among women 18-24, 3.87 million of whom tuned in across CBS and Univision — up 24% from last year (3.18M). Men 18-24 placed second with a 20% increase (from 3.86 to 4.61 million) and girls 12-17 third with an 11% jump (from 2.63 to 2.85 million). Those three demographics combined to average 1.81 million more viewers than last year, accounting for 24% of the additional audience for this year’s game (7.41M). (As a detailed demographic breakdown was unavailable for the Nickelodeon simulcast, those figures are excluded here.)

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Doesn’t it usually follow that growth is harder in a more saturated demographic than it is in a more sparse demographic?

If you already have 70% of a group (let’s say adult men under 55), it’s harder to grow double digits, than if you only have 30% of a group (let’s say young women under 25).


How many viewers watched the 2023 Super Bowl?

123.7 Million

Super Bowl LVIII Draws 123.7 Million Average Viewers, Largest TV Audience on Record. Nielsen.3 days ago

But that is false.

From 2017-20, Nielsen measured out-of-home viewing separately. Adding in the out-of-home audience during those years, Patriots-Falcons in 2017 is the most-watched Super Bowl on record with 123.94 million, followed by this year’s game and Eagles-Patriots in 2018 (117.33M).

Honestly the bigger draw is was the repeat. The gamblers made up the largest chunk.

A record 67.8 million American adults are expected to bet a combined $23.1 billion on the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, the American Gaming Association said this week.5 days ago


The chart only goes to 2022. We see spikes in gambling.

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Age old question among programmers - and other marketers, I suspect. For example, when you donate to a political candidate you are suddenly inundated with more fundraising requests from that same candidate. They find that the most likely people to give are not the huge number of people in that same demographic but … the same people who have already given.

Best way to sell more potato chips is often “sell more to the same people” (“Buy 2, get 1 free). As it translates to broadcast ratings, there are two mechanisms: more viewers, or get the same viewers to watch more. (The local news equivalent is “5 part special series on local crime” spread across every broadcast of the week, usually during a ratings “sweep” week, to try to boost the 3.5 shows the average viewer watches to 4 or even 5. Does it work? Well, they keep doing it.)

For an event like the SuperBowl, already vastly popular, things might be a little different, but I note that viewing was up in every demographic category, just really up with young women (and to a slightly lesser extent young men.)

Part of that, I’m sure, is about the appearance of the pop star, but also because of the mega hype surrounding her and her boyfriend, which was even bigger than the usual over-the-top hype, which is generally confined to sports stories (and occasional economic impact ones.)

Any, yes, if you already have 70% of a group it’s harder to grow it to 75%, but as this year’s numbers show, it can be done. I would say an equally, perhaps even more difficult target would be “women 18-24”, who have shown no particular interest in football at all to this point, but who suddenly show up in large viewership numbers - and it’s pretty obvious why.

This year’s numbers do not include viewership from the separately announced and produced broadcast on Nickelodeon (why the delay I do not know), so the total for this year will be revised upwards, perhaps significantly as it was geared to “first time watchers.”

[Edit to add: later story confirms “out of home” viewing, (estimated) might push this SuperBowl to 2nd place. And the Nickelodeon broadcast was 1.2m viewers, delivered late but included in this analysis:
The Audience For Super Bowl LVIII Grew By All Measurement Providers ]