If it follows suit, Super Bowl XLVII on February 3rd will become the most watched show in television history. According to The Nielsen Company, last year over 111 million people viewed the game. It captured 47.8% of all households in the United States. A whopping 71% of all people watching any television show airing during the hours of the game were watching the Superbowl.
If you are not a Super Bowl fan, here is a sobering fact. Between 1963 and 2010 almost half (21) of the highest rated 44 shows in TV history were Super Bowls.
For the three or four of you who haven’t heard, a :30 spot in this year’s Super Bowl has reached a staggering $4 million. If that number doesn’t shock you, then how about Taco Bell buying a :60 spot? Or how about the annual winner of “most money spent in Super Bowls,” Anheuser-Busch, who this year went all in with a purchase of four and a half minutes of commercial time? Granted they are divvying it up between Bud, Bud Light, Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire but even using last year’s average cost per spot, that’s still $33.3 million no matter how you slice it.
Even though overall NFL ratings were down 5% this year, the Super Bowl will still be king. With the highest viewing and the highest ad costs, it really doesn’t get any better than the Super Bowl… or does it?
In an effort to bring a moment of sanity to this football-crazed society, I want you to know that there really was something that beat the Super Bowl.
For those of you old enough to remember, the first moon landing back in 1969 was a really big deal. Granted it’s not quite as cool now that George Lucas has shown us the reality of space travel. However, that highly watched television event did a 22.0 household rating on CBS with the famous TV anchor Walter Cronkite at the helm.
Well OK, Walter only pulled a 22.0 rating but back then things were different. There were only three television networks and in this case all were airing the same moon landing coverage. Not to mention that most Americans were watching the event on a black and white TV set.
So in the name of old-school, lets up the game. If you combine the simultaneous viewership of all three networks airing the moon landing, then 90% of the country was watching the same event at the same time. That added up to over 125 million Americans.
Ha, beat that Super Bowl!
Apparently some things are more important to America than the Super Bowl… but not many. Let’s be serious, unless humans start landing on Mars, it’s going to be hard to beat the highest watched, most expensive ad unit, highest pizza sales event of the television year.
I know where I will be February 3rd…Hey pass the chips.
Image Source: Daniel X. O’Neil