The Corner

Why Did Super Bowl Ratings Collapse?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) and quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., February 7, 2021. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

It was an ominous sign for the Super Bowl when Nielsen and CBS declined to boast about, or even release, the ratings the next day. It turns out that 91.629 million watched the game on the broadcast network. Perhaps CBS spent Monday trying to find a way to beef up those numbers. Eventually it announced that another 5.7 million viewed the show on digital and mobile properties, for a total viewership of 96.4 million.

That’s a 38.2 household rating, Ratings-wise, it was the worst performance for the Super Bowl since, egad, 1969, when the rating was 36.0. Remember 1969? I don’t,

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