Super Bowl 2021 ratings: Why it took so long for sagging numbers to emerge

The wait for the Super Bowl 2021 ratings stretched into Tuesday in a highly unusual delay.

“Super Bowl numbers are still being processed and verified,” Nielsen said in a statement. “We anticipate that final viewing figures, which will include Out Of Home (OOH) viewing, will be available to the media (Tuesday).”

The unexpected wait for the highly-anticipated numbers from the CBS broadcast has caused many to speculate that the figures could be down this season. The Buccaneers’ 31-9 rout of the Chiefs lacked drama, as Tampa Bay was up early and never truly threatened by Patrick Mahomes team.

“You all know if it takes too long, they’re scrambling to figure out how to make it look better,” longtime NBC Sports and Fox executive Vince Wladika tweeted.

Read More at NY Post

Key Local Markets Indicate Super Bowl Decline

The lack of TV ratings information the day after the Super Bowl opened the door to speculation about how those numbers look. Early numbers suggest that TV viewership will be down, hovering in the low to mid 90 million viewer range.

The overnight ratings from 44 markets — a generally unreliable guide to final NFL numbers — showed a 4% drop overall. Only nine of the 44 markets posted increases; 35 showed decreases. Combined with the fact that the entire league was down 7% for the regular season led several sources to suggest an overall viewership drop of 5% or more.

The good news for the NFL and CBS: several important markets showed an increase over last year’s Super Bowl, including New York (+1%), Boston (+13%) and Chicago (+5%). Boston registered the biggest ratings increase and, surprisingly, pulled a bigger rating than Tampa-St. Pete.

Baltimore and Memphis (both +5%) had the third biggest ratings increase, trailing only Boston and Kansas City (+8%).

The bad news: the overnight number was down even with a marquee matchup featuring star QBs. The terrible weather in much of the country presented a scenario that typically brings audience increases.

The overnight markets that posted the biggest decreases: Raleigh-Durham (-14%), Milwaukee (-13%), Denver (-13%), Sacramento (-13%) and Houston (-13%).

TOP AVAILABLE MARKET RATINGS FOR SUPER BOWL LV ON CBS
MARKETLOCAL RATINGCHANGE FROM 2020
Kansas City59.98%
Boston57.613%
Tampa-St. Pete52.36%
Minneapolis-St. Paul50.4-1%
Norfolk50.37%
Cleveland-Akron49.8-3%
Philadelphia49.0-3%
Providence48.9-3%
Pittsburgh48.5-2%
Cincinnati48.2-2%
SMALLEST AVAILABLE MARKET RATINGS FOR SUPER BOWL LV ON CBS
MARKETLOCAL RATINGCHANGE FROM 2020
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale36.8-11%
Houston37.9-13%
Portland39.1-11%
Raleigh-Durham40.0-14%
Greensboro40.4-9%
Los Angeles40.6-9%
Salt Lake City41.2-4%
St. Louis42.3-10%
Las Vegas42.5-6%
Phoenix42.5-8%

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