NEW YORK (AP) — The Super Bowl put a halt to a four-year decline in viewership, with an estimated 99.9 million people watching the Kansas City Chiefs come back to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in what is annually the most-watched television event of the year.
The Nielsen company said viewership rebounded slightly from the 98.5 million who watched in 2019. An exciting game that featured a fourth quarter comeback and two teams that haven’t been in the ultimate game lately most likely helped drive public interest.
Super Bowl viewership had been slowly eroding since its peak in 2015, when 114.4 million watched a thrilling finish between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.
By one measure, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes wasn’t the biggest star on the field — not by a long shot.
Halftime show performer Jennifer Lopez led all personalities with 2.2 million interactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, according to Nielsen. Mahomes, the Kansas City quarterback, was the top player with 514,000 interactions.
The peak moment for social media activity came just at the end of the halftime show starring Lopez and Shakira, Nielsen said.
Fox estimated that Sunday’s game had 102 million viewers in total, when people who streamed the game through Verizon or watched on the Fox Deportes Spanish-language network are taken into account. The halftime show had 103 million viewers, Fox said.
Fox also said that 23.7 million people watched the episode of “The Masked Singer” following the game, in what is always the most-coveted time slot on television.