Super Bowl LIII Can’t Top Goodbye, Farewell and Amen


The television audience for Super Bowl LII averaged 98.19 million viewers on Sunday, February 3rd. That means “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” remains the ninth most-watched TV program in United States history. The big game fell below 100 million viewers for the first time since 2009. Even with streaming and Spanish-language viewers on ESPN Deportes included, the audience grows to just 100.7 million viewers. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” averaged 105.9 million viewers back in 1983.

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

Last year, Super Bowl LII averaged 103.3 million viewers, considerably better than Super Bowl LIII, but still not enough to beat “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.”

It may seem petty but I’m happy “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” remains one of the ten most-watched TV programs of all time in the United States, at least for now. It’s possible future Super Bowls will eventually push it out of the Top 10. We’ll have to wait and see.

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

11 Replies to “Super Bowl LIII Can’t Top Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

  1. Part of the problem is the boycotting going on against the NFL by the GOP because of the kneeling players have been doing in protesting racial injustice in America, which the GOP claims is “showing disrespect” for the anthem, flag, and country. That probably explains why the audience was down this year.

    1. As a veteran I can tell you kneeling for the national anthem IS disrespect, and has absolutely nothing to do with protesting racial injustice. Just because some clown says that’s why he’s doing it, doesn’t make it so.

      I could start defecating in public restaurants and say it’s my way of protesting the killing of trees to make toilet paper, but that doesn’t make it right. I bet you anything if I did that with an “impeach 45” shirt on, the media would praise me as a hero.

      You want to protest this so called racial injustice that you think is so prevalent in this country still, fine, but when that anthem plays, you stand the F up and put your hand over your heart.

      Just my two cents. Probably best to keep politics out eh?

      1. So all veterans have to agree and think alike?

        You can’t tell me for a second you actually believe Colin or Nate cooked this up purely out of protest for “social injustice.”
        It was just a political stunt. If they actually cared about social injustice they’d get in contact with senators and congressmen, or use some of their millions of net worth to spread the message and educate people on social injustice and work to fix it.

        But that’s not actually what they wanted. Just like the vast majority of protesters since 2016, they just want their moment in the spotlight and give the APPEARANCE of caring while not actually doing so.

      2. I didn’t say that at all. You were speaking from a veteran’s point of view, I just wanted to know if you were aware that it was actually a veteran who is responsible for the kneeling we see from NFL players. But I am aware that not all veterans think alike or agree on everything. My cousin is a Marine, and is very vocal about his disdain and disapproval for the one in the White House – he’s lost a lot of his friends and even some family members over his views.

        Otherwise. . . .

        Far from the truth. Far from the truth. People have been contacting Senators and Congressmen about such problems, and you know what the results have been? Senators and Congressmen have been changing their numbers and ducking phone calls, and even going so far as having people arrested for peaceful protesting (which is a consituational right). Case in point: a wheelchair-bound friend of mine (who was just recently kicked off his SSD benefits) and others like him have been arrested multiple times for fighting to protect their rights, which our current government has been trying to take away from them. He’s fortunate enough to have a life of his own: a job, a newly-wed wife, and a certain level of independence, but being in a wheelchair, he’s doesn’t have the same advantages as able-bodied people, and as such, needs a certain amount of assistance that the government doesn’t want to extend to disabled people like him.

        Meanwhile, turning a blind eye to and pretending problems like social injustice, racial injustice, and other such don’t exist doesn’t make them not exist. Hate crimes have been in the incline for the past two to three years; this is why we have movements like Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA (the latter of which I’ll agree goes far too extreme in their protests, and are almost as steeped in their own version of fascism as the fascism they claim to be fighting). People with ties to White Supremacist, the KKK, the Aryan Brotherhood, and other far-right-associated groups are going into public places and shooting up or bombing public places attended by minorities: blacks, Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQIA community, etc. and taking countless innocent lives for political gain. Growing up, I honestly never thought I’d live to see stuff like this happening in my lifetime – I thought America had moved past the days of Civil Rights that my parents lived to see, but clearly, that isn’t the case.

        Nevertheless, oppression is still going strong, but those who are causing the oppression are the ones who claim they’re the ones being oppressed, when they really aren’t. Like white people who claim blacks are oppressing them (as a white guy with black friends, I know this is false claim), or straight people who claim the LGBTQIA community is oppressing them (as a straight guy with friends who are gay and bi, this is horse hockey), or Christians saying godless, atheistic hordes are oppressing them (as a Christian, I can say I know a lot of irreligious people who are far more respectful and even Christlike than many far-right Christians are). It also doesn’t help that the one in the White House is patting the backs of these oppressors and calling them, “Some very fine people,” while denouncing the oppressed and calling them, “Sons of bitches.” That’s like a playground monitor rewarding the school bully for his actions, while kicking the victim while they’re down.

      3. Not going to spend too much more time on this because it’s not going to go anywhere, like any political discussion these days. I’ll just throw out what I have to say and be done. While I agree with some of what you said, some of it shows that you have gotten your information from the media or from word of mouth and not actually looked into the facts.

        Perfect example your “very fine people” comment that is clearly from the Charlotte incident. If you watch the entire speech that Trump made, uncut, NOT the edited one the media showed you, you’d see that Trump did NOT say that about white supremacists at all.

        What he said was that not everybody at that Charlotte rally was a white supremacist. The ones who weren’t could be some very fine people. The ones who were should be condemned. He actually said it TWICE that white supremacy in all forms should be condemned. He had simply pointed out that saying that entire rally was a big white supremacy protest was inaccurate, and that labeling everyone there as such is not true. He then even further said he condemns all forms of racism.

        There are MANY MANY examples of this every single day in the media. Trump has many Jews in his family, and has done more for the black community prior to being president, and while being president than any president since Lincoln. He’s never made any blanket racist/negative statements about all Hispanics or Muslims, only stating that the radicalized ones, or terrorists, or the ones bringing in drugs, raping, and murdering, or crossing the border ILLEGALLY need to be stopped. All that nonsense at the border about kids and tear gas is literally no different than 8 years of Obama.

        He’s also the only president losing net worth, basically ever, while being president (granted he was a billionaire already) while also using his own money all the time. He does do and say things pretty unpresidential, and at times it’s not good at all, but he’s getting results in multiple political spectrums. The media just absolutely hates him and will spin everything he does in the most negative way possible because the media has always been very liberal, and Trump is very outspoken against liberals and their ideals, alot of which have devolved HEAVILY from the 60’s to very far left ideals of today, and is the first president basically ever who’s not scared to go after things he doesn’t agree with aggressively. Hating an unpresidential president like Trump also makes for controversy which brings in the viewers, badly needed in times when cable tv where news outlets like CNN get their most viewers from is on the rapid decline, causing a loss of profits.

        People are starting to wake up though. More and more every week we see the numbers of people who say Trump is dividing the nation dwindling and the numbers saying it’s the media rising. Trump has had consistently, especially recently had higher approval numbers than Obama did at the same point in time, sometimes by almost 10%.

        Going back to your comments on far right. Sure lots of far right are shooting places up, but just as many never trumpers or leftists are too. Far right and far left should both be completely condemned. Trump has said so and firmly believes it, but the media won’t tell you that.

        As for oppression, racial injustice, etc. Maybe it’s just where I live which is very diverse, but I just don’t believe it’s anywhere near as prevalent as the media makes it out to be, and it certainly isn’t Trump causing it, especially in the case of blacks. That is an absolute media farce. Of course racism and oppression are out there. It always will be because people fear things that are different. You cannot and will not ever completely stop it. but the constant media circus of blaming the president and further dividing our bi-party system will absolutely make it worse. Sure Trump is not completely mr innocent, but he’s not even remotely close to as bad as the media and liberals will have us believe.

        I could go on for pages but I doubt anyone will read this far so I’ll stop. Thank you for at least not bringing up the absolute BS farce that is the Russian collusion investigation. lol

  2. ….or….perhaps everyone knew it was going to be a rather boring Super Bowl to watch, with a young QB going up against the likes of Tom Brady and the Patriots. It was the Rams defense who made it into a game. If they didn’t show up, the Patriots would’ve demolished the Rams. I’m just happy my Eagles won the year before! 🙂

    Now as for the kneeling – perhaps instead of doing that, they should spend their spare time and money and make a difference in society (007 made mention of that). I’m sure some do, but not most.

    …now back to your regularly scheduled M*A*S*H…. 🙂

    1. Uh-huh. And, uh, what exactly are these wealthy politicians who sit on mountains of money doing with their spare time and money (aside funding for their campaigns)? Just curious.

  3. While I’m sure the controversy over kneeling had something to do with the lower ratings, my guess is the irregularities regarding the teams IN the Super Bowl also played a pretty big part. Due to bad calls, KC got robbed and New Orleans got ROYALLY robbed. Plus, I think a lot of people are just tired of seeing New England there. My one friend boycotted the game solely on that fact. (Though I haven’t seen him since the day before; maybe he relented.)

  4. To be able to have 106M viewers in an era of three network TV without streaming on demand, or smartphones and social media, is an astonishing number. CBS went on a full PR campaign in the weeks before the end to hype MASH’s finale. So that helped.

    Today’s network and live stream numbers are calculated differntly. You have tablets, smartphones, social media live posts. Back then none of this existed. You had one large funnel and that’s what you watched.

    To be fair to the Superbowl. These two programs were not up against each other in any way. This is just about number cruncing.

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