Nielsen Says 90 Percent of Americans Who Own a TV Viewed Part of Super Bowl

Just under 90 percent of Americans who own a TV are estimated to have seen at least part of last month's Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, according to a new survey from Nielsen and the NFL.

The survey estimated that over 208 million Americans saw at least part of the Super Bowl, whether they were in their own home, watching the game at someone else's home or watching it in a public place like a restaurant.

The survey analyzed 6,600 households to determine the size of an average home that is viewing the Super Bowl, and whether that number differs from Nielsen's current metrics, which estimated that about 167 million people watched at least one minute of the game in previous findings.

"While it's no secret that the Super Bowl is the biggest event across the media landscape on a yearly basis, the exact number of people watching the game has been challenging to pinpoint given the fact that people tend to gather in groups to watch the game" Paul Ballew, chief data and analytics officer of the NFL, said in a statement.

"We're grateful for the work put into this custom survey by Nielsen, the results of which we feel provide the most accurate picture to date of the total viewership for this unique event."

Previously reported ratings for the Super Bowl audience on NBC, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital platforms and Yahoo Sports mobile properties showed an average of 112 million viewers throughout the game, the new release stated.

"We recognize that the Super Bowl is a truly unique watching experience. While we are confident in our measurement which is the gold standard for the industry, we are always looking for ways to more strongly collaborate with our clients to better understand who may be watching, and how they may be watching," said Jon Stainer, Nielsen sports managing director for the Americas.

"We have worked closely with the NFL for years and performed other similar studies to better understand who may be tuning in to the largest TV event every year."

Divided by markets, the Cincinnati TV market posted the highest ratings across the country as the Bengals ended up losing to the Rams 23-20. It was estimated that about 84 percent of people in the region who had a TV on during the Super Bowl were watching the game.

Detroit posted the next-highest regional ratings as it was assumed that many Detroit Lions fans were watching their former quarterback, Matthew Stafford, lead the Rams to the championship.

Update 3/1/22, 1:25 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and context.

Super Bowl Nielsen NFL Ratings
A new survey from Nielsen and the NFL shows that nearly 90 percent of Americans who own a TV watched at least part of the Super Bowl. Above, the Los Angeles Rams celebrate after Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images