One of the most exciting Super Bowls in league history actually saw a television ratings drop.
Despite two of the nation’s major media markets being represented and a thriller that wasn’t decided until a Hail Mary heave at the final whistle, Nielsen revealed on Monday that average television viewership fell seven percent for the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 heart-stopping win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Sunday’s average viewership of 103.4 million that watched the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history on NBC did rank as the 10th-highest viewed program in U.S. history. But those viewer figures actually made it the least-watched Super Bowl since 2009.
The Patriots’ historic comeback over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI a year ago — rallying from down 28-3 late in the third quarter for a 34-28 overtime victory — carried a average televised audience of 111.3 million on FOX.
Sunday’s Eagles-Patriots NFL title game peaked at 112.3 million between 10 and 10:15 p.m. EST in the final minutes of the second-highest scoring Super Bowl.
On the flip side from the drop in TV numbers, Nielsen also reports that Sunday’s game in Minneapolis marked the largest digital audience ever, averaging 2.02 million viewers per minute.