CBS says 96.4 million viewers watched Super Bowl 55 between the champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday, a decrease compared to last year's big game despite a record in streaming.
The game was the most live-streamed NFL contest ever with an average minute audience of 5.7 million viewers, the network said during its release announcing viewership, which came a day later than normal; streaming numbers are expected to increase each year as cable subscriptions dwindle and consumer behavior changes.
Last year's matchup between the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, which aired on FOX, hauled in 102 million viewers. The lopsided margin in this year's edition did not help ratings, but it will by far remain the most-viewed telecast of the year.
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after winning the Super Bowl. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)
The top markets were predictable, with Kansas City leading the way, Boston — intrigued by Tom Brady's and Tampa Bay's presence in the game — in second and Tampa third.
The television-only number was 91.629 million viewers, making Sunday's contest the least-watched Super Bowl broadcast since Indianapolis-Chicago in 2007 (also on CBS).
CBS has clarified the broadcast deliveries for Super Bowl LV, saying that the traditional TV presentation averaged 91.6 million viewers. That tops Pittsburgh-Seattle in 2006 (90.7M) but is now the least-watched broadcast since Indy-Chicago averaged 93.2M on CBS in 2007.
The most-watched Super Bowl came in 2015 with 114.4 million viewers.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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