Super Bowl, halftime show grow audience compared to 2021: Samba TV

Super Bowl 46 and the accompanying halftime show both saw significant increases in viewership compared to last year’s game, according to Samba TV.

The TV measurement company said 36 million U.S. households, representing more than 1 in 4 US homes, watched this year’s Super Bowl across linear television and streaming platforms. Those figures were good enough for a 12% increase in household viewership from last year’s game.

“In Q4 of 2021, every one of the top five television programs was an NFL game, and that momentum helped linear TV notch its first ratings increase since 2020,” said Cole Strain, head of measurement for Samba TV, in a statement. “We saw that same momentum and excitement for the NFL carry over to this year’s match-up between the Rams and the Bengals with the NFL continuing its ratings winning streak gaining Super Bowl viewership year over year by 12%, reaching 36 million households.”

The halftime show was also a big audience draw this year smashing 2021’s viewership numbers. 29 million US households, an increase of 19% year-over-year, viewed the halftime performances.

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Samba TV said the number of U.S. households that tuned in just to watch the halftime show and tune out before the third quarter was up 60% from 2021. However, the company said show—which featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem—also attracted 1.2 million households that began watching the Super Bowl during the halftime and stayed to watch the second half.

“The halftime hype drew in millions of new viewers who came to watch the performances but who also stayed for the second half,” said Strain. “The number of households who started watching during the halftime and stayed for the second half kickoff were up 41% year over year. No matter how you look at it, the halftime show was a big winner for the NFL.”

The home markets for the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams varied significantly in average viewership for the game. Cincinnati was the second-highest audience market in the U.S. in terms of viewership and over-indexed the national average by 13% (behind only Boston at 15%). However, Los Angeles was only the 12th highest indexing market of the top 25 DMAs plus Cincinnati, with a with only a 1% over-index of the national average.