NBC claims streaming record as Super Bowl fails to fire in TV ratings

NBC’s television coverage of Super Bowl LII, the annual finale to the NFL American football league’s season, failed to ignite in the ratings stakes, but the US network has claimed Sunday’s game represented the biggest domestic sports streaming event to date.

NBC held the rights to this year’s game, which saw the Philadelphia Eagles claim their first Super Bowl title with a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

According to Fast National data released by the Nielsen Company, and digital data from Adobe Analytics, the game accounted for a Total Audience Delivery of 106 million viewers, across all platforms – NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NBC.com ‘TV Everywhere,’ Universo, En Vivo app, NFL.com, NFL Mobile from Verizon, the Yahoo Sports app, and go90.

However, the game only placed ninth in the all-time Super Bowl television ratings list, averaging 103.4 million viewers. This still placed it as a top 10 show in US television history, and NBC stressed that it will be by far the most-watched show of the year, more than doubling viewership for the AFC Championship Game, 44.1 million on November 21, which will likely end 2018 as the No. 2 program.

Viewership peaked at 112.3 million from 10-10:15pm ET during the fourth quarter. Last year’s game drew 111.3 million viewers to Fox, while NBC still leads the way with 114.4 million viewers for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, a narrow win for the Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks.

NBC maintained that the numbers do not include out of home viewers, which will not be available until Thursday from Nielsen. OOH will increase the audience measured by several million people.

“With an all-time Top 10 audience, the Super Bowl once again proved that it’s the most dominant and consistent property on television,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports, said. “Super Bowl LII delivered for all of our partners, and provided us with the unique opportunity to give America a look ahead at the Olympic winter Games, which begin live on NBC this Thursday night.”

However, NBC said that Super Bowl LII was the most live-streamed Super Bowl ever, delivering an Average Minute Audience of 2.02 million viewers via the NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com, NBC.com ‘TV Everywhere,’ En Vivo app, NFL.com, NFL Mobile from Verizon, the Yahoo Sports app, and go90.

Sunday’s record-setting live stream peaked at 3.1 million concurrent streams. Fans consumed 633.7 million live streaming minutes of Super Bowl Sunday coverage across 6.1 million unique devices, up 185 per cent and 112 per cent, respectively, from NBC’s last Super Bowl live stream in February 2015.

“We are excited by the record-breaking consumption as well as the quality of the streams we delivered to football fans,” Rick Cordella, executive vice-president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group, added. “We believe this is the largest domestic streaming sports event in history.”