As many people know, Super Bowl Sunday 2013 is approaching quickly. If last year is any indication of ratings, 111.3M people in the United States will tune into at least part of the game on February 3rd (International Business Times). It’s a media sellers dream to have primetime advertising space with ratings such as those presented during the football action. As a marketer, I decided to dig a little bit deeper to find out more about these viewership numbers. I wanted to know if 111.3M has been the status quo for viewership over the years or if there have been any recent changes.

It turns out that in the past eight years, viewership has increased almost 130% from 86.07M in 2005. Likewise, the average cost of a 30-Second Super Bowl TV commercial has increased 128% since 2008. Is that is a fair increase in cost?

The viewership rules have changed slightly since 2005. Surveys back then asked respondents if they planned to watch the Super Bowl at home, at the pub, at a party, etc. It was always assumed that they would be watching the game on a television. Today however, surveys are worded more along the lines of, “Will you be watching the game on TV, your computer, your smartphone, etc?” The results from these studies might surprise you.

Hanon McKendry‘s report states that 41% of respondents answered: computers are at least somewhat important to my game day experience (59% for respondents between the ages 18-34). 28% said that smartphones fell into that category (47% for 18-34) and 25% said tablets fell into that category (29% for 18-34). Although these numbers are outranked by television more than 2:1, they are still a major contribution to the increase in viewership of the game. By the way, 93% of respondents felt that television was at least somewhat important to their game day. This percentage was the only category matched by respondents between the ages 18 and 34. On all other platforms, the younger viewers held a higher viewership than those 35 years of age and up.

So, what do you think? How will you be watching the game? Leave a comment below.

-Lee Sumner, Research Analyst

3 replies
  1. Paul Kurrle
    Paul Kurrle says:

    Were you able to see if people were going to watch Superbowl on TV, and 2nd device? Would fans follow the game through a a webcast, fansite, live blogging or facetube posting?

    The big game is always on my glowing 50″ plasma with family. And Texas chili at half time.

  2. Lee Sumner
    Lee Sumner says:

    That’s a great question, Paul. I know that while doing research online I came accross quite a few websites that would be streaming the show live: – Of course CBS is covering it this year, so their sports center home page would be a surefire way to catch the game.

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