The Super Bowl on Sunday night drew the best ratings in five years for the game, with an average of 112.3 million viewers across television and streaming, according to NBC Universal, which aired the event.
Viewers tuned in for a matchup that had the Los Angeles Rams narrowly prevailing in the final minutes in their home stadium over the Cincinnati Bengals. The halftime show, which highlighted hip-hop for the first time at the event, attracted a bigger audience than the previous year.
Last year’s Super Bowl, which appeared on CBS, tallied 99.7 million viewers across multiple platforms — the smallest audience in years. This year’s game was shown on NBC, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital platforms and Yahoo Sports. Television viewership on NBC peaked at 104.4 million midway through the game but averaged 99.2 million, up 4 percent from last year.
The halftime concert, with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent, averaged 103.4 million viewers, a 7 percent increase from last year’s performance by the Weeknd. The average ad — there were 81 spots in the national broadcast — reached 106 million viewers, according to data from iSpot.
As more people seek outlets for their pandemic fatigue, N.F.L. games have accounted for 48 of the top 50 most-watched broadcasts in the 2021 regular season, even as the league battles criticism about racism and player injuries.