Sunday’s overnight ratings were the lowest the NFL had seen for a Super Bowl in ten years. Later in the day Monday, CBS confirmed less that than 100 million people watched the network’s Super Bowl coverage. Just like the overnight ratings, that is the fewest amount of viewers since the 2009 matchup between the Steelers and the Cardinals.
While 98 million viewers was enough to make Super Bowl LIII the 12th most watched season finale in history – the underwhelming number comes after the NFL had seen viewership rise across the board during the playoffs.
When you include CBS Interactive and the NFL’s digital services, the number of viewers does eclipse 100 million. However, technical difficulties from Roku and YouTube TV kept a number of potential consumers away from the coverage. CBS did claim 149 million people watched at least 6 minutes of the matchup, but the lowest scoring Super Bowl in NFL history wasn’t able to keep the attention of about a third of those viewers.
Of course, these numbers are only disappointing in historical Super Bowl context. In all, the NFL and it’s partners enjoyed a season in which 46 of the top 50 viewed TV shows were football games.