Global Super Bowl audience increases to 62.5 million (which really isn't all that impressive)

As the NFL tries to turn America's Game into an international spectacle, some numbers are great. And, frankly, other numbers aren't as great as the league would like.

The NFL announced on Wednesday that the global audience for Super Bowl LVIII was 62.5 million, a 10-percent increase over last year. It looks good in isolation.

However, there are eight billion people in the world. Roughly 330 million reside in the United States. So of the 7.67 billion who live beyond our borders, .062 billion watched the ultimate American sporting event.

It's a saturation rate of 0.8 percent. We're not even getting one out of 100 non-Americans to tune in for the single biggest NFL game of the year.

While it's not clear from the press release, the broader context suggests that 62.5 was the total audience, not the average audience. As to specific countries, the release identifies both total audience and average audience.

In Mexico, the total audience was 24.1 million. The average audience was 8.7 million.

For Canada, 18.8 million total viewers watched. The average was 10.1 million. (Viewership peaked during the halftime show, at 12 million.)

In Germany, 3.8 million tuned in. The average audience was 1.9 million.

In the U.K., the total audience was 3.7 million. The average was 1.2 million.

For China, it was the most-watched Super Bowl in seven years, but there were no numbers provided.

Glass half full, the numbers are going up. But the glass still remains largely empty. Which reminds me of a surprising (at the time) comment that a General Manager made when the league's annual European excursion began during the 2023 season. When is the league going to just give up on this?

Yes, pro football can fill stadiums in other countries, with a smattering of annual games. But is it truly moving the needle internationally? Frankly, a total audience of 62.5 million for the Super Bowl suggests that it's not.

And it underscores just how far the NFL has to go to become truly competitive on the global stage.

Maybe that's why the possibility of a London Super Bowl continues to get mentioned. Maybe exporting America's ultimate sporting event is the only way to get non-America as excited about the game as non-America could be, and should be.