Football Fans Like a Big Blowout, According to the Super Bowl's Ratings

Sunday’s Super Bowl wasn’t just the most watched Super Bowl game in history. It was television’s most watching anything in history. According to the Hollywood Reporter, ratings for Super Bowl XLVIII not only topped last year’s impressive average of 108.4 million viewers. It also set a new NFL record of 111.3 million viewers. That makes it the most watched program in television history. [Image via Josh Lackey/Flickr]
Of course, no one could have expected a definitive outcome from either side before the start of the game. In fact, both teams for this year’s Super Bowl were pretty evenly matched. According to statistician Nate Silver, this was one of only eight times in NFL history where “the two best teams have met in the Super Bowl” and even he had a hard time picking a winner because “the number say it’s going to be a tie.” Yet through it all, the audience stayed glued to the sets to the final second of the game as the Seahawks ran a bloody clinic over the Broncos making it the highest rated broadcast in TV history. Maybe this proves that our thinking about blowout games is all wrong.
The excitement factor may not be as high as two evenly matched teams or an underdog team fights to stay alive on the scoreboard. However, a blowout has something fans care about much more: athletic prowess and talent. As long as the team on the field isn’t destroying their hometown team, they want to see one side rack up a huge score while never giving the other side the chance to put up any points on the board. Such a spectacle also means that they are witnessing something that could potentially become a part of sports history.

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