2/3/19 - Atlanta - New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate their 13-3 win against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Photo: Curtis Compton/TNS
Photo: Curtis Compton/TNS

Super Bowl draws fewest TV viewers in a decade but ratings up in host city Atlanta

Numbers exclude streaming viewers

Originally posted Monday, February 4, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The Super Bowl match-up between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams was considered a super snooze and the (relatively) droopy ratings reflected that as TV viewership dropped to its lowest level since 2008. 

UPDATED with final figures: Linear TV ratings fell to below 100 million for the first time since 2009 (98.2 million) and down about 5 percent year over year.  Streaming

on CBS, NFL and Verizon digital platforms and Spanish-language broadcast and streaming from ESPN Deportes did push it just over 100 million to 100.7 million. 

Atlanta brought in a 49.1 rating, up from 47.1 a year ago. The fact the game was based here clearly contributed to the rise. Atlanta was ranked 7th out of 56 metered markets compared to 29th a year ago. 

That rating equals about 2 million viewers in metro Atlanta. 

The New Orleans market, where there was widespread talk of a boycott of the Super Bowl following a botched missed ref call that contributed to the Saints’ loss, saw ratings fall by more than half from a year earlier to just 26.1 rating. Last year, New Orleans drew a 53.

That 26.1 was the worst of all markets measured by Nielsen meters and is far below the 44.9 percent average. (That means means 44.9 percent of household TV had the Big Game on.)

Boston drew a 57.4 and Los Angeles a 44.6, actually below average and reflective of the fact the Rams just moved back there. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.