Early ratings for Sunday night’s Super Bowl show a five percent decline in viewership from last year’s game. Final Nielsen ratings, which calculate viewership as a percentage of the population, are due to come in later on Monday and will likely come in a little under 100 million viewers. The 53rd annual game was largely seen as uneventful, including a lackluster halftime show. The overnight household rating was 44.9, meaning that about 45 percent of all the households in America were tuned in to the game. Compared to last year, when the household rating was 47.4. The final total number of viewers will still certainly beat out everything else on American television Sunday night by a huge margin. However, overnight ratings only measure viewership at home televisions, so bars, restaurants, and streaming viewers aren’t counted in the initial total. Ratings for the big game have been slipping for several years despite overall population growth.
In New Orleans, Sunday’s game drew a 26.1 rating— the lowest of any U.S. market and the lowest ever in New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints were controversially edged out of the final game due to a highly questionable pass-interference call in the NFC Championship game. In a massive display of festive anger, Saints fans across the city filled the streets in “protest parties.”