Whether they were attracted to the big-budget, star-studded commercials or a particular player’s sideburns, fans turned out in massive numbers for this year’s Super Bowl. The showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals attracted more than 112 million viewers and potential crypto investors. Thankfully, this probably means NBC will renew football for another season. It would be terrible if the series was canceled before its time.
Per Deadline, that number also accounts for all of NBC’s brands and partners, including NBC, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital platforms, and Yahoo Sports. This is particularly impressive for Peacock, the fledgling streaming service that prompts questions like “What’s Peacock?” “Do we have Peacock?” and “Do we have a Peacock password?” Viewership on the buggy-as-all-hell app was up 16%, which means people were able to put their frustration with “the streaming wars” on hold for a moment, eat some nachos, and watch football for a change.
Super Bowl LVI was the most-watched game since 2015, which aired in a pre-Peacock (or Preacock, as we see around these parts) world when people knew where to watch football. They didn’t need an app or nothing. We used to be a proper country, and now we’re the United States of Apps. That might work for T.G.I Fridays but not the good ol’ U.S. of A.
What’s more, the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which saw millennials around the country reflecting on their old Honda’s six-CD changers, was up 7% from last year, averaging more than 103 million viewers. Apparently, people were more into Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar than The Weeknd getting lost in a hall of mirrors.
We loved the halftime show at The A.V. Club. Reviewer Nina Hernandez wrote:
Though The Weeknd (2021) and Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (2020) did admirable work during the turbulent pandemic-era performances, this year was a clear return to form in terms of production possibilities for the Super Bowl production. Even more, it really did turn out to be—as Dr. Dre said in the lead-up—both a surprisingly effective tribute to hip-hop’s place in sports and pop culture, and a touching love letter to the City of Angels. Only Hollywood could write such a story: a star-studded performance going off without a hitch and then the home team walking away with the trophy.
The Weeknd probably would’ve eked out a couple more viewers had Daniel Craig introduced the show. C’est la vie.