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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Women Prove to Be a Powerful Force in Super Bowl’s Record Viewership 

  • Female demographics show strong viewership growth for the NFL’s title game.
  • The Taylor Swift effect likely extended to the Super Bowl with sharp ratings boosts among young women.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Just as women’s sports are among the fastest-growing parts of the entire sports industry, women were a dominant story in final Super Bowl LVIII viewership figures. 

Data from measurement agency Nielsen showed the final audience for Super Bowl LVIII reached an average of 123.7 million, up slightly from fast national estimates of 123.4 million and reconfirming the game’s status as the largest single event in the history of U.S. television. 

That aggregate figure represents a 7.4% boost from Super Bowl LVII a year ago, but across multiple segments, women showed even greater levels of growth. Women ages 18–24 watching the game on CBS and Univision posted a 24% jump in year-over-year Super Bowl viewership, while girls ages 12–17 posted a 11% jump, and women overall logged a 9% increase to 58.8 million. Women also comprised 47.5% of the game’s total audience, representing the highest figure ever for the Big Game, beating a comparable 47.1% for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. 

Swift Surge

Beyond the still-rising popularity of the NFL overall, some of this influx no doubt owes to the Taylor Swift effect, with the pop star’s romantic relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce drawing additional attention from her huge base of fans to the team this past season. But that impact could represent something of a temporary high. Not only is the future status of the Swift-Kelce relationship unknown, but so, too, is how the Chiefs will do next season in their bid for the first three-peat of the Super Bowl era. 

But even before the Super Bowl, commissioner Roger Goodell was quick to credit Swift for her presence within the NFL orbit, calling her presence at league games “nothing but a blessing.” 

“She loves great entertainment, and I think that’s why she loves NFL football,” Goodell said last week. 

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