The most-watched television programme of the year in the United States was viewed by an estimated average audience of 113 million, the third highest ever audience in America. Over 182 million viewers watched at least some of the coverage of the Super Bowl, with over 118 million watching the halftime show. Although the average online audience was a record 7 million, most viewers were watching on FOX television. However, online viewing accounts for over 38% of all television viewing in the United States, up from almost 29% ago.

Numbers from Nielsen show that an estimated 113.06 million viewers watched the Super Bowl in the United States in 2023. That is the highest number since 2015, which was the previous record at 114.81 million.

The 2022 NFL season finale between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs was watched by an average of almost 50 million households across the United States, and over 77% of households using television were tuned in to the game at the time of the broadcast.

The half-time show, starring Rihanna, was watched by an average of 118.7 million viewers, making it the second most-watched of all time, after Katy Perry’s performance in 2015.

The Super Bowl was the most viewed online so far, with an average of 7 million streams, up 18% on the 6 million the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics, which does not account for the number of individuals co-viewing.

The numbers show that despite the reported unpopularity of traditional television viewing, certain events still command huge television audiences.

Super Bowl viewing in the United States 2013-2023. Source: Nielsen

According to the Gauge from Nielsen, there was a slight increase in total television viewing in January 2023, and the share of broadcast viewing rose slightly to 24.9%, led by sports and drama. That was down from 26.4% in January the previous year.

Viewing of cable channels fell to a new low of 30.4%, down from 25.6% a year before.

Nielsen Gauge January 2023. Source: Nielsen

Together, broadcast and cable television still make up over 55% of all television viewing, but that is down from 62% a year previously. That includes broadcast and cable programming viewed through the apps of multichannel service providers.

Online video services accounted for 38.1% of viewing, the same as the month before, but up from 28.9% in January the previous year.

Netflix alone made up 7.5% of all television viewing, behind YouTube at 8.6%, including 1.3% for YouTubeTV services. Hulu accounted for 3.5%, of which 0.3% was for Hulu Live, while Amazon Prime was at 2.9% and Disney+ at 1.7%.