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Audience for Superbowl I in 1967: 51M

Audience for Superbowl I in 1967: 51M
(Bulat Bulatov/Dreamstime)

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Friday, 02 February 2018 10:41 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The very first Super Bowl was played on Jan. 15, 1967, with a lot less hype than the game attracts today. Still, 51 million Americans watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs.[1]

That game was broadcast on two television networks — CBS and NBC — because it was a match-up between two separate leagues. The Packers represented the long-established National Football League, while the Chiefs had won the upstart American Football League. CBS broadcast the NFL games, and NBC had rights to the AFL.

The networks began alternating coverage the next season, with CBS attracting 39 million views to watch the Packers repeat as champions by defeating the Oakland Raiders. NBC aired the stunning upset of Super Bowl III when Joe Namath and the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts. Baltimore had been favored by 17 points, and 42 million people watched the upset.

Of course, it wasn’t called the Super Bowl in the early days, merely the AFL-NFL championship game.

For most of its history, the Super Bowl has been watched in nearly half of all U.S. households, peaking in 1982 at 49 percent. In terms of viewers, the all-time high was 2015 with 114 million people tuned in.

Footnotes:

  1. Nielsen, "Super Bowl 50 Draws 111.9 Million TV Viewers, 16.9 Million Tweets," February 8, 2016

Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.

Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.

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For most of its history, the Super Bowl has been watched in nearly half of all U.S. households, peaking in 1982 at 49 percent. In terms of viewers, the all-time high was 2015 with 114 million people tuned in.
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Friday, 02 February 2018 10:41 AM
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