Super Bowl LVII Adds 2 Million Viewers After Nielsen Restatement

Fox’s 2022 broadcast of Super Bowl LVII has a new score.

Nielsen has added audience to the overall total of the February 13, 2022 broadcast, and the new viewership makes the game the industry’s most-watched TV event. According to a revamped Nielsen report, 115.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the Big Game across Fox, Fox Deportes, and various streaming services. Nielsen had previously reported that the broadcast was seen by an estimated 113.06 million viewers.

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“There were two separate issues, each of them accounting for an additional 1 million viewers,” explains Mike Mulvihill, executive vice p and head of strategy and analytics for Fox Sports.

The NFL noticed a disparity in the number of people said to be watching the game via NFL Network, and asked Nielsen to review the matter, the executive says. That sparked a discovery of a glitch in how the content was encoded so it could be recognized by Nielsen’s systems. Nielsen then discovered a second problem in the tabulation of people who watched the program via “out of home” methods — such as a TV at a bar, hotel or restaurant.

The new results mean that viewership for Super Bowl LVII is up 2% over 2021’s broadcast of Super Bowl LVI on NBC, and more than the previous most-watched game, 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, which reached 114.4 million.

Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl LVII had been on track to be the second most-watched TV broadcast in the history of the industry. Now it is first.

Fox can't do much to monetize the broadcast further. Ads for the Super Bowl are sold without audience guarantees, as both buyers and seller tend to agree the event will draw a big crowd. Fox secured about $600 million from its broadcast of the game this year, according to remarks made by Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corp.'s CEO., during an investor call in February.

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