The lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever may have pushed ratings for the game down as well.
The New England Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII averaged 98.2 million viewers on CBS. That’s a 5 percent decline from the previous year (103.39 million) and the smallest TV-only audience for a Super Bowl since 2008 — “smallest” being a relative term, as nothing else in the world of Nielsen-rated TV comes even within shouting distance of the Super Bowl.
The all-in average for Sunday’s game — including streaming on CBS, NFL and Verizon digital platforms and Spanish-language broadcast and streaming from ESPN Deportes — is 100.7 million. The various streams had an average minute audience of 2.6 million, up 30 percent from 2 million last year. Streaming also accounted for a slightly larger percentage of the total audience: 2.6 percent vs. 1.9 percent a year ago.
Following the game and post-game festivities, the premiere of The World’s Best delivered 22.2 million viewers, at the lower end of post-Super Bowl shows over the past 20 years. The audience is about 18 percent smaller than that of NBC’s This Is Us (26.98 million) after the 2018 Super Bowl.
On the plus side for The World’s Best, it is by far the highest-rated series debut of the 2018-19 season to date, and it’s also the most-watched non-sports program of the season so far, topping the Golden Globes by almost 4 million viewers. No other scripted or unscripted series has topped 14 million same-day viewers.
Feb. 4, 2:40 p.m. Updated throughout with more accurate ratings.