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Where the NFL Fans Are: Out-of-Home Viewing Scores a Touchdown
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Where the NFL Fans Are: Out-of-Home Viewing Scores a Touchdown

With the Panthers and Broncos set to square off on Feb. 7, excitement for Super Bowl 50 is mounting. Last year’s event was the most-watched televised sporting event in U.S. history, as more than 114 million viewers tuned in for an evening of football and, for more than half of us, funny commercials.

But chances are high that most Americans will be watching the game with friends and family. Enter the Super Bowl Party – characterized by beer, wings and excitement. And these parties, whether in bars, restaurants or friends’ houses contribute to large out-of-home (OOH) sports TV audiences. In fact, OOH viewing contributes to substantial sports viewing lifts throughout the year.

According to Nielsen’s Year In Sports Media Report 2015, the 2015 NFL season on FOX saw a 19% lift in viewership among persons 6 and older thanks to OOH tuning. These lifts were most pronounced at the beginning and end of season, when excitement about a new season and the final standings are at all-time highs. And for sports fans, nothing beats the excitement of Super Bowl Sunday.

When it comes to your in-home Super Bowl party, ratings contributions from visiting friends, neighbors and relatives is substantial and remains relatively constant. Over the past five years, Super Bowl viewing from consumers who do not live in the primary rating household (your guests, or short-term visitors) contribute about 10% to the total ratings, which equates to roughly 11 million viewers during each matchup between the NFC and AFC champs.