Most Americans Will Watch the Super Bowl—But Not For the Reason You Think

It's almost time for the Kansas City Chiefs to take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LVII.

The Super Bowl is traditionally the most watched sporting event in the world, and across the United States millions will be tuning in.

In 2022, some 99.18 million viewers watched the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in the season finale. This figure was a few million short of the most watched game in history, Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, when 114.44 million tuned in to see the New England Patriots triumph over the Seattle Seahawks.

While it might be thought that those watching are there for the football, it turns out that a high percentage are not bothered about the game at all.

Super Bowl
An aerial view of State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 28, 2023. The stadium will host Super Bowl LVII on February 12. Getty Images

A survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for Newsweek has shown that 35 percent of those watching the Super Bowl will actually turn on to see either the halftime show or the adverts that are shown between plays.

The survey, of 1,500 people, showed that 62 percent would be watching the Chiefs against the Eagles, with 41 percent saying that they watch the Super Bowl every year.

Of those saying they would be settling down to watch the big game, only 65 percent said they were primarily interested in the sport itself, with 77 percent of men asked claiming that this is the reason they wanted to see the game.

The remaining 35 percent of viewers stated that their primary reason for tuning in was either the halftime show (18 percent) or to watch the advertisements (17 percent), which are often more cinematic than at other times of the year as brands look to reach the huge Super Bowl audience.

The halftime show, which features Rihanna this year, is main reason why 28 percent of women intend to watch the game.

Roc Nation founder, Jay-Z, has said of the singer from Barbados: "Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn.

Rihanna attends the premiere of "Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever" at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on October 26, 2022. The 2023 Super Bowl halftime show will feature the Barbadian star. Getty Images

"A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment."

Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music said: "Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career."

The 34-year-old singer teased her performance on social media on January 13, when she posted a clip of what fans should expect.

"We've waited for you!" a fan says in the video. Another voice then declares that it has been over 2,000 days since her last live performance.

"RiRi, where have you been?!" another voice asks as Rihanna is seen dancing, before the singer puts her fingers to her lips and one of her songs begins to play.

Do you have a tip on a sports story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about the NFL? Let us know via