Super Bowl 50 Ratings Roundup: CBS Draws Third Largest Audience Ever

Super Bowl 50 on CBS was watched by an estimated average of 111.9, while ESPN Deportes notched its best non-soccer event ever

It may not be the ratings record-setter some anticipated, but CBS’s Super Bowl 50 telecast drew a massive audience nonetheless. The Denver Broncos victory of the Carolina Panthers was watched by an estimated average of 111.9 million viewers (according to Nielsen Live + Same Day Fast National ratings), making it the third most-watched program in television history. Sunday’s Super Bowl peaked with an average of 115.5 million viewers from 8:30-9:00 PM, ET.

The game was watched in all-or-part by a record 167.0 million (Persons 2+) viewers, making it the most-watched single broadcast in television history on an all-or-part basis (according to Nielsen’s Fast Total Audience Estimates). The previous high was CBS’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 (164.1 million; Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers).

Streaming coverage of Super Bowl 50 on CBS and NFL digital properties set viewership records in every category, with the game streamed across more platforms than ever. The live stream drew 3.96 million unique viewers across laptops, desktops, tablets, connected TV devices and mobile phones. Viewers consumed more than 402 million total minutes of coverage, watching for more than 101 minutes each on average. During the game window, viewers consumed more than 315 million minutes of coverage, with an average minute audience of 1.4 million. CBS Interactive sold live stream ads together with broadcast for incremental value. National ads ran in the same spots on the broadcast and live stream for the first time this year. The live stream was available on CBSSports.com on PCs and tablets, the CBS Sports app for iPad, Android and Windows 10 tablets, and the CBS Sports app for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TV models, and Xbox One, along with NFL Mobile from Verizon on phones and the NFL on Xbox experience.

On social platforms, Super Bowl 50 is the most Tweeted event of the year so far according to Nielsen, with several elements, including advertisers, trending on social media throughout the game…

…ESPN Deportes – for the first time the exclusive Spanish-language home of the Super Bowl – posted the biggest non-soccer audience in its 14-year history with the Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.  The network averaged 268,000 Hispanic household impressions and 472,000 viewers (P2+), based on a 1.8 rating according to Nielsen.  The household audience was 51% larger than last year’s Spanish-language presentation. In addition, Super Bowl 50 on ESPN Deportes was the most-watched non-soccer event ever on Spanish-language pay television, behind only the 2014 Super Bowl. The new mark for ESPN Deportes excluding soccer is 33 percent larger than the previous best – the Premier Boxing Champions event  on August 29 last year with an average of 355,000 viewers.

On WatchESPN, Super Bowl 50 delivered ESPN Deportes’ fifth-most-watched event ever, attracting an additional 5,600 average minute impressions to the TV audience, 29,000 unique viewers and a total of 1.5 million minutes viewed.  It is the most-watched, non-soccer event for ESPN Deportes on WatchESPN – trailing only four UEFA Champions League matches…

…In Canada, Super Bowl 50 on CTV and RDS was the second-most-watched SUPER BOWL on record. Preliminary overnight data from Numeris confirms that the game attracted an average audience of 8.3 million viewers on CTV and RDS (CTV: 7.3 million; RDS: 1 million), as the defensive juggernaut Denver Broncos rolled to a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers. The game’s total audience is second only to last year’s all-time record for SUPER BOWL XLIX (9.23 million viewers). Overall, 18.2 million unique viewers – or more than one in two Canadians (52%) – watched some part of the 2015-16 NFL championship game on CTV or RDS.