This weekend as the conclusion of the professional football season draws near, people all over the country will be captivated by the cultural spectacle that is the Super Bowl. While the big game draws the attention of many, fans are still the backbone of this sport—especially in their hometowns.
For local fans, connecting with their team means more than just the watching the game. In the run up to last year’s big game, we found that radio listeners in the home markets of the two participating teams from Super Bowl XLVII were most likely to listen to their local stations just before and just after the actual game. In fact, the flagship station in the winning team's hometown saw an over 300% increase in listening at the end of the 2013 game!
This year, we sought to fill in the gaps in radio listening by layering in the TV audience data, to get a broader view of how Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots fans will likely catch the game next Sunday.
For as popular as the Super Bowl television broadcasts are—last year's game drew a whopping average audience of 111.5 million viewers—fans in Seattle and Denver during Super Bowl XLVIII used a combination of radio and TV to get their game-day fix. During the game, it was all about the TV broadcast. But just before kickoff and immediately after the final whistle, radio listening spiked as Seahawks fans rushed to commemorate their first Super Bowl win, while Broncos fans trudged to commiserate their loss.
For Super Bowl XLIX, we could see similar trends from fans in Seattle and New England, as both markets have strong fan bases. However, following the Seahawks' win last year, their fan base increased by 27% from the previous year—the most of any team. As a result, Seattle's listening and watching trends could be even higher before, during and after this year's big game than in 2014.
The charts represent the total radio listening audiences (aged 6+) and TV viewing audiences (aged 2+) in Seattle and Denver on Feb. 2, 2014, during the two hours leading up to kickoff and the two hours following the end of the game. These numbers are based on Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) data for radio and Local People Meter (LPM) data for TV.