The longest Super Bowl game will also go down as the most-watched show in television history.
According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, Kansas City's 25-22 overtime victory over San Francisco on Sunday night averaged 123.4 million viewers across television and streaming platforms. That broke last year's mark of 115.1 million in Kansas City's last-game win over Philadelphia and represents a 7% increase.
The game was televised on CBS, Nickelodeon and Univision and streamed on Paramount+, as well as the NFL's digital platforms.
Nielsen also said a record 202.4 million watched at least part of the game across all networks, a 10% jump from last year's number of 183.6 million.
The CBS broadcast averaged 120 million. The network's previous mark for most-watched Super Bowl was 112.34 million for the 2016 game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Part of the increase can be attributed to a change in how viewers are counted. Nielsen began including out-of-home viewers in its ratings in 2020, but only in limited markets. That measurement expanded to all 50 states starting this year.
Sunday's game was just the second of 58 Super Bowls to go to overtime. The previous one was in 2017, when New England came back from a 28-3 deficit to beat Atlanta 34-28.
“I was managing my expectations, but I had a little bit of hope that it would happen,” CBS Sports president Sean McManus said of the overtime, which was called when San Francisco kicker Jake Moody had an extra point. blocked in the fourth quarter, which kept it a three-point game. “I can’t imagine a better or more exciting Super Bowl than this one.”
Kansas City sent it to overtime on Harrison Butker's field goal. After the 49ers kicked a field goal on the opening possession of OT, the Chiefs won when Patrick Mahomes threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman.
This Super Bowl had the added attraction of the presence of Taylor Swift. The pop star is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, a romance that has brought new fans to the NFL.
It was the second year in a row that the Super Bowl averaged more than 100 million viewers, following a period in which four of the five games before 2023 fell short of that number due to cord-cutting. This included 95.2 million for the 2021 Super Bowl between Tampa Bay and Kansas City, which was the lowest average for the game on TV alone since 2007.
Univision averaged more than 2.2 million viewers, the largest Super Bowl audience ever recorded for a Spanish-language network. The Super Bowl has been broadcast in Spanish in the United States since 2014.
The NFL playoffs averaged 38.5 million viewers over the first three weekends, a 9% increase from last year.
This followed a regular season average of 17.9 million, tied for the second-highest since averages were first recorded in 1995.