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Super Bowl Underwhelmed in Another Way

The Brady-Mahomes matchup only pulled in 96.4M viewers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2021 7:24 AM CST

(Newser) – So just how many people were eager to watch veteran quarterback Tom Brady take on hungry new QB Patrick Mahomes on Super Bowl Sunday? Not a heck of a lot, relatively. Ratings for the NFL's biggest day of the year are in, and CNBC reports the matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa Bay, Fla., which brought 96.4 million viewers to CBS, was the lowest-watched Super Bowl since the Colts faced the Bears 14 years earlier, per ViacomCBS stats. That 2007 game also failed to break 100 million, with just 93.1 million off-site spectators. For context, last year's Super Bowl brought in about 102 million viewers on Fox and via streaming, per CNN Business. Sunday's numbers include not only at-home viewers, but also those OOH, or out-of-home, like viewers watching the game at bars and restaurants, a spokesperson told Deadline.

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Per CNBC, issues with the CBS app may have had some effect on the weak showing. Deadline notes that the ratings emerged after an embarrassing delay for a "blushing" Nielsen, which "has never suffered as high profile a fumble as today." It appears "incorrect metrics" caused the ratings giant to have to "reprocess" its numbers, causing an "unprecedented" holdup that took several days to resolve. In rosier news, WFTS reports that on Wednesday at 1pm ET, Tampa Bay will be holding a boat parade along the Tampa Riverwalk for the Bucs, who beat the Chiefs 31-9. Masks are required, and social distancing protocols will be in place. (Read more Super Bowl stories.)

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