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Super Bowl Ratings Hit Eight-Year Low — But It’s a Different Story for the Program Airing After the Game

Feb 5, 2018  •  Post A Comment

NBC put the word out today about some impressive ratings on Super Bowl Sunday, but the network’s best news was contained in the numbers for programming that aired after the game, rather than the game itself.

NBC was eager to point out that its postgame broadcast of “This Is Us” was the top-rated post-Super Bowl telecast in six years — and that it topped last year’s postgame broadcast of “24” on Fox by 59%. NBC also noted that “This Is Us” was prime time’s highest-rated non-sports telecast in metered market data since the Oscars almost a year ago.

Also on NBC’s list of noteworthy achievements, the network pointed out that “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” bettered its previous Super Bowl rating and delivered its highest overnights since its premiere week of post-Olympics telecasts.

You can see NBC’s full spin on overnights for its postgame programming by clicking here.

NBC also did its best to put a happy face on ratings for the Super Bowl, even though the game had its lowest ratings in eight years, based on the early Nielsen returns.

Entertainment Weekly noted that the game’s 47.4 overnight rating was “notably down from recent years.”

“NBC pointed out that Super Bowl LII overnight ratings rank ninth among all Super Bowls — but that’s only because ratings for the big game were gradually rising for decades … until they seemed to plateau starting in 2011 (a year that delivered 111 million total viewers, and that has been the approximate ratings ballpark of the championship game every year since),” EW noted.

The EW report adds: “The ratings decline wasn’t entirely unexpected given the viewership decreases the NFL has endured overall the last couple years. NBC points out that the margin between the Super Bowl’s overnight ratings and the NFL Playoffs was the largest ever — basically, that the big game performed really well relative to the popularity of the season.”

For NBC’s full spin on the Super Bowl broadcast itself, click here.

And as noted above, to read the full announcement from NBC about results for its postgame programming, please click here.

One Comment

  1. One thing that would significantly help the ratings would be to start the game earlier in the day. Expecting people on the East Coast, and have to get up at 4 or 5 am to go to work, to stay up until 11pm, isn’t really viewer friendly. Since it is an all day party for most people, an earlier start should not be a problem. And with the plug for another program now a regular event after the game, it is not unreasonable to have an earlier start.

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