Super Bowl Sun, the Holy Grail of TV viewing, is w/i eyeball distance. NBC (SB 2015’s televising network) begins its Pre-Game coverage and TV domination at 2 PM and won’t “give up” its eyeball awe$omene$$ till…? NBC is bringing in its “Big Guns.” Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show will be broadcasting live after The Blacklist. Fallon is no stranger to Post-SB’s late night time. He did the same live Post SB gig in 2012. Last yr with the SB on FOX, NBC rolled out the RED CARPET on all formats including NBC Sports Network & NBC Sports Radio, with WEEK-LONG coverage till SB’s kickoff. Much the same should be expected this yr and possibly more.
THE $UPER BOWL’$ PO$T GAME PROGRAM$
Over the past 15 yrs, 2001’s Survivor (CBS) wins the SB Post Game Program crown with 43.4 M viewers. The biggest Post SB bump/jump came in 2003 with ABC’s Alias which avg’d 9 M viewers that yr as the Post Game Program location increased its viewership over 2.6 times to 24.5 M (after SB 37.) Post SB Programs come in all sizes, shapes and genres. There have been action shows, cartoons, comedies, dramas, musicals and TV reality programs. (JUST 4 THE RECORD, the ALL TIME Post SB Program audience is NBC’s Friends [53 M] past SB 1996. The audience was actually larger than 04’s FINAL EPISODE.)
The NFL is such a “cash cow” (b/c of its awe$ome audiences) that the SB Pre G, Post Game and even its Post G Program ALL attract remarkable audiences. T-1 shows that over the last 15 yrs the Post G Program audience has avg’d 187% more than its regular time slot avg. WOW! The Post G Program itself, actually avgs almost 30% of the SB’s viewing audience. WOW! WOW!! (The Post Game Program TV avg audience of 27.9 M is more than ¾ the size of the 5 yr avg of Oscar’s TV audience.)
COMPARATIVE AUDIENCE $IZE$ FOR PLAYOFF GAME$ & THE PO$T GAME
Table 2 continues this Scope’s general theme of the SB’s AUDIENCE IMPACT. This time though we look at audience size by going backwards from SB Sun. Rather than considering the Pre G, the SB Post Game and the Post Game Program, we look at TV audiences during the Playoffs. Avg audiences from the WildCard to the SB gradually increase. This yr the WC avg was 30.1 M, Divisional games avg’d 37.8 M & Conf Chmpshp Games avg’d 46.0 M per (That avg is more than doubled on SB Sun.) The moral of the story is that ONLY the later playoffs can beat the audience size of earlier playoffs. The truth is that ONLY the PLAYOFFS (TV viewerwise) can beat the PLAYOFFS! That is the story! As a matter of fact, the ftball playoff TV audience data are put into perspective by the box at the bottom of the 2nd page. (It states the costs for a 30 sec ad & avg audience size for this past fall’s TOP 10 programs.)
T-2 views the last 5 yrs of NFL Playoffs’ TV audiences from WildCard play to Division, Conf Champshp & SB games. The size of the TV audiences for the Playoff games inevitably depends on some combo of football team & player brand power/playing $ucce$$ AND market size of the competing teams. This yr’s WC games were much weaker than last yr’s record audiences (with weaker brands/markets like AZ, CAR, CIN & INDY vs GNB, NO, PHL & SF in 2013). As for the Divisional round, 2015’s TV audience won the day. (It featured GNB, NE & SEA ALL playing Conf Chmpnshp games.) Amazingly so, viewership again, was 50 M+ for the Conf Chmpnshps though the NFL finished well short of its highest Conf Champ audiences of 1982 (when the AFC & NFC Conf Finals avg’d 60 M+ viewers thx to the legendary DLS vs SF game.) The length of the SB Post Game “Wrap Up” program varies ranging from 21 to 39 min (See T-2. The Post Game “Wrap Up” features interviews, the MVP award, etc.) 2014’s 93.4 M Post Game Show was a crazy #. Assuming there is NO “SB Blackout” (as in 2013 which pushed CBS’s Elementary to almost 11 pm and to the smallest TV audience [20.8 M] for a Post Game Program in 15yrs), The Blacklist should EXPECT high 20 M to low/mid 30 M viewers for the Post SB 2015 Program. (See T-1).
In T-3 (above) we see the # of times EACH major network has hosted the SB game. CBS leads with 18 SBs. After SB 49 NBC will also have 18. FOX & ABC have both televised 7 SBs. No ntwrk has avg’d more Post SB Show viewers than NBC with 31.37 M. Among ALL ntwrks, the Post SB Show has avg’d 28.94 M viewers! CBS’s 60 Minutes has the most Post SB shows (4).
SB SUN COUNTERPROGRAMMING
OK, enough about the Playoffs, Pre G & Post G shows and that PRECIOUS JEWEL, the Post G Program. How about the GINORMOUS issue of having to FACE SB Sun programming if you’re a competitor? What do you do? Go off the air? Go to old reruns? Well, COUNTER PROGRAMMING has become SB game day TV talk. As the other ntwrks “go to the dogs” on SB Sun, how about the Puppy Bowl (Animal Planet)? Last yr over 13.5 M viewed Puppy Bowl X (a record viewership for it [EWeekly]). Also in 2014, SB counterprogramming by the pet kingdom grew to include Kitten Bowl #1 (Hallmark Channel). The Kitten Bowl drew 3.2 M to its premiere & went on to get a total of 6.1 M viewers with encores during the day. Kitten Bowl II (2015) starts at noon on SB Sunday. Then, there is the 1st ever Fish Bowl (“reeled out” by the Nat’l Geo Wild Ntwk) which aired for the 1st time during last yr’s SB. No reports yet if the Fish Bowl will be back, unlike the Kitten & Puppy Bowls (who premiered their special b-4 the game), the Fish Bowl premiered at 6 pm right b-4 the kickoff. Any bets on pets for PetBowl 2015? Who will eat whom? What will the petting/pecking order be?
The strength of the NFL programming is revealed in the above table of ad rates & audience size attached to last fall’s TOP 10 programs. The TOP 2 programs ad rate wise were Sun Night (NBC) & TH Night (CBS) Ftbll. That strength is also seen in their audience sizes being #1 & #4, respectively. The child prodigy program this SB season is The BLKLST with the 4th highest ad costs & 7th greatest avg viewership. NBC’s SB programming will bring BLKLST an audience that is at least twice the size of the 2nd biggest audience in the above table. (Big Bang on Mon Night avg’d 16½ M viewers). Another view (save Sun Night Ftbll & The Big Bang Theory) is that most of TOP 10 audiences were b/t 10 M & 11¾ M. Given the 110± SB audience, The BLKLST will grab 3 times its avg. The SB is TRULY a Golden Goo$e laying those Golden AUDIENCE IMPACT Egg$!!! Perhaps, for Millennials, NBC is rolling out the SB RED CARPET streaming from NOON through BLKLST at NO COST! [For more streaming info, please see Bloomberg, Kelly Gilblom, 1/20/15]).
|Table 1: Post Super Bowl Programming|
|Year||Network||Program||AVG Viewership for the yr (M)||Post SB viewer (M)||Ratingsa||Shareb||SB Viewer (M)|
|2005||FOX||The Simpsons/American Dad||13.3||23.1||13.0||22||86.07|
|2004||CBS||Survivor: All Stars||21.5||23.1||17.9||32||89.80|
|2002||FOX||Malcolm in the Middle||13.0||21.4||11.5||21||86.80|
|2001||CBS||Survivor: Australian Outback||29.8||45.4c||24.5||39||84.34|
|a. 1 rating point represents 1% of the total TV households in US watching the program.|
|b. Share is the percentage of all TV’s tuned in to the program.|
|c. The highest rated Post SB Program of all-time was Friends in ’96 with 53 M viewers, even more than the shows series finale in ’04.|
|d. This # is the AVG views for The Blacklist’s 1st 8 episodes of its 2nd season in 2014.|
|Table 2 – TV Viewing Audience for NFL Playoffs|
|Year||Wild Card||Division||Conf Champ||SB||Post Game||PG Time||TOT||Net||Post G Program|
|Table 3 – Post Program Viewing by Highest Viewed Program & Ntwrk Avg for that Show|
|Network||# of SB||Highest Viewed Post SB Show||Viewers for that||Total Post Program Viewers||# of Post Program Shows||Avg Viewers|
|*Both CBS & NBC carried the SB 1967 game, b/c the leagues were not merged yet|