A Stellar Landing for Super Bowl LVIII: Viewership Soars Past Apollo 11 Mission

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Expectations were high for Super Bowl LVIII, and this year’s mega event didn’t disappoint. With viewership anticipated to achieve an all-time high, marketers and fans alike waited to see if the numbers for the famous football match could live up to the lofty predictions.

And indeed they did. The big game of 2024 attracted the most viewership of any Super Bowl to date, registering somewhere between 125 and 150 million people tuning in to watch the returning Kansas City Chiefs narrowly defeat the San Francisco Giants in overtime – a number surpassed only by the viewership recorded for the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon.

The pumped up social media hype engulfing Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s romance played into bolstering the numbers, bringing in a new audience of atypical viewers eager to cheer on their favorite football duo. A flash poll by Variety indicated as many as 20 percent of viewers were rooting for the Chiefs this year strictly because of Taylor Swift. 

The “Taylor Swift” effect began with followers tracking her “will-she-make-it” flight saga from a Saturday night concert in Tokyo all the way to Las Vegas, culminating in the star’s arrival caught on camera as she entered Allegiant Stadium. The fanfare continued throughout the Super Bowl matchup, with cameras frequently panning to catch the singer’s reactions during the game.

This year’s ratings may have also received a boost from Nielsen’s changing the way it accounts for fans who watch outside a home setting, such as with friends or at a sports bar. According to Nielsen’s numbers, 112 million of the estimated viewers watched on CBS. The remainder came from Paramount, Nickelodeon, CBS Sports, Univision, and NFL digital channels. When calculating in those who watched at least a portion of the game, ratings exceeded a whopping 202 million. 

Approximately 115 million viewers tuned in last year to watch 2023’s matchup between the Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. Other Super Bowls drawing large audiences were the 2017 faceoff between the Patriots and Falcons at 123.94 million, and the Eagles-Patriots showdown the following year which brought in 117.3 million viewers. Which begs the question, how will the NFL top these results next year? Read more about Super Bowl LVIII viewership here.

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