Super Bowl LII Fails to Beat Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

Shockingly, Sunday’s big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots didn’t top the M*A*S*H series finale in viewers. With 103.4 million viewers watching, Super Bowl LII was the least-watched Super Bowl since 2009. It ranks as the 10th most-watched program in United States history, just below “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.”

Most-Watched Television Broadcasts in U.S. History
## Program Year Average Viewers
1. Super Bowl XLIX 2015 114,442,000
2. Super Bowl XLVIII 2014 112,191,000
3. Super Bowl 50 2016 111,864,000
4. Super Bowl XLVI 2012 111,346,000
5. Super Bowl LI 2017 111,317,000
6. Super Bowl XLV 2011 111,010,000
7. Super Bowl XLVII 2013 108,693,000
8. Super Bowl XLIV 2010 106,476,000
9. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” 1983 105,970,000
10. Super Bowl LII 2018 103,391,000

According to NBC, when other platforms are included, a total of 106 million viewers watched Super Bowl LII. That’s basically a tie with “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.”

It will be interesting to see how many viewers tune in to next year’s Super Bowl. Was this year’s game a fluke?

I’ve revised my Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Ratings Analysis with information about Super Bowl LI.

8 Comments

  • 007 says:

    Wonder if this has anything to do with the kneeling during the national anthem controversy. I saw various news articles on groups planning to boycott the game because of it.

    I suspect also we’ll see numbers continue to gradually drop as cable TV continues to die. I myself wouldn’t have been able to watch if I wanted to unless I found a way to stream it online since I don’t have TV anymore.

    • BDOR says:

      Yeah. I saw some figures regarding the numbers of different groups watching and not watching the Super Bowl, and accordingly, the number of male viewers was down I think 5-7%, the number of white viewers down by 11%, and the number of Republican viewers down by like 22% or so.

      But this really shouldn’t come as any surprise. The buffoon we have pretending to be our president is enciting this kind of behavior in our country by calling White Supremacists who go out and attack black people, “some very fine people,” while calling the black people who are speaking out against the injustices their minorities faces from said White Supremacists, “sons of bitches.”

      But what do I care? I’m not a sports person, so I never watch the Super Bowl anyway, lol. And that’s weird, because my state practically worships football – we had Peyton Manning during his college career, so he’s pretty much a hero here: you’re bound to see memorabilia of him somewhere you go around here, whether it’s jerseys, helmets, or whatever else with his name and number.

    • Jon says:

      That’s a big reason why I neither watched nor recorded this Super Bowl, plus I’ve lost a lot of interest in football & sports-watching in general over the past couple years.

  • SarahRose says:

    I’m wondering how many people actually watched most or all of the game, and how many were multitasking on their phones and laptops with the TV playing the game in the background. I’m pretty sure those MASH viewers weren’t playing tic-tac-toe on a separate little screen with a friend in Italy while they half-watched the iconic finale. Just my two cents. 🙂

    • SarahRose says:

      Forgot that my emoticon would turn into an emoji with tiny little lines for facial expressions, and I can’t figure out how to edit the post to delete it. It’s supposed to be a simple smile.

    • 007 says:

      This is actually a really good point. There’s probably a pretty large percentage of people out there who spend their evenings on the computer, tablet, phone etc. and just decided to throw the game on that night because why not. You could almost question if that really counts towards the numbers.

      The same would probably apply to all super bowl games. Notice how it wasn’t until 2010 when M*A*S*H was finally beaten. Was this simply because the population had increased or was it because of the reasons mentioned above with the rise of technology? Since we know cable TV has been on the decline for years, I’d wager that it’s both population increase and the rise in technology with people putting it on in the background.

      Too bad there’s no way to get the numbers break down and see if any Super Bowl actually beat M*A*S*H in dedicated viewers.

  • DHLA says:

    I would remind everyone that M*A*S*H’s rating, a 60.3/77 – is a record that I doubt will be broken by anything, including a SuperBowl. I don’t think a SuperBowl has cracked a 50 rating, but they regular get into the high 40s.

    By using the rating, the M*A*S*H record normalizes for population, which comparing the 100+ million does not – the US population is much, much greater than it was in 1983.

  • Albert Palmer Short says:

    Who Cares!!!!!!

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