Super Bowl LIII draws lowest overnight ratings in a decade

·Yahoo Sports Columnist
·2 min read

To some, Super Bowl LIII was enjoyable, a defensive battle that resulted in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. To many more, it was a snooze, a game featuring two of the four highest-scoring teams of the season managing only one touchdown combined.

Whether it was the matchup — the public at large might be tired of seeing the New England Patriots in the championship, and the Los Angeles Rams are something of an upstart — or other circumstances, viewers weren’t watching in droves.

Lowest-rated Super Bowl in a decade

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII, but fewer fans than usual were watching. (AP)
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII, but fewer fans than usual were watching. (AP)

Via Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, the Super Bowl drew an overnight rating of 44.9/68 share, the lowest-rated Super Bowl since the Pittsburgh Steelers-Arizona Cardinals matchup a decade ago.

That game, won by the Steelers, drew a 42.1.

The 44.9 for SBLIII marks a 5 percent drop in viewership over last year’s Patriots-Philadelphia Eagles game (47.4 rating), and a nearly 10 percent drop over Super Bowl XLIX, when the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in a thriller (49.7 rating).

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With more and more people watching via online streaming, however, the final numbers could look different once the streaming data is taken into account.

Boston, Los Angeles tuned in, but not New Orleans

As you’d expect, Boston and Los Angeles fans did watch. In the Boston market, the Patriots’ win drew a 57.4, the highest number for the game in the market since 2015. In Los Angeles, it drew a 44.6. Not surprisingly, it was the highest-rated Super Bowl in that market since 1996.

But one city that didn’t care to watch was New Orleans. The game drew just a 26.1 rating, the lowest-ever Super Bowl rating in the city and the lowest of any market nationally.

Saints fans were still stung by the way the NFC championship game ended two weeks earlier, when officials didn’t call a clear helmet-to-helmet violation (or the pass interference that occurred on the same play) and New Orleans went on to lose to the Rams in overtime.

Instead, fans organized efforts to avoid the game entirely, with parades and protests and just a general good time. Even the city’s newspaper, the Times-Picayune, ignored the Super Bowl.

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