Number Crunch

This Year’s Super Bowl Had the Smallest Audience Since 2007

Sunday’s NFL championship game was definitely not the GOAT

Marker Editors
Published in
2 min readFeb 11, 2021


Number Crunch logo next to an illustration of a football on a TV monitor with a generic graph trending down, with the text “15%: The decline in Super Bowl viewership from last year’s Super Bowl Source: Bloomberg”

15%: That’s how many fewer people watched last Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV than watched last year’s big game, according to Bloomberg. A little more than 96 million tuned in to the game this year, making it the smallest audience for the Super Bowl since 2007.

Given that people couldn’t gather for big Super Bowl parties like they would have in prior years, you might have expected that more households would have had the game on their televisions, leading to higher viewership numbers. But it appears that if people can’t have a Super Bowl party at home or at a bar, they’re less likely to tune into the game at all. After all, that’s what the Super Bowl really is for a lot of people: a social event with burgers, beer, commercials, and a little incidental football in the background.

Coke, Pepsi, and Budweiser were among the veteran Super Bowl advertisers who decided to sit out the commercial breaks this year rather than shell out the $5.5 million it cost advertisers for a 30-second spot during the game. After those viewership numbers, they’re probably feeling pretty good about their decision.

More like just a Kinda-Large Bowl, amirite?

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