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The State of the NFL and the Super Bowl

Sarah Steimer

The 2017 NFL season was plagued by reports of falling viewership, but viewership increased a reported 5% to 15.8 million TV viewers per game during during the 2018 season. Whether this increase is the start of a new upward trend or just a flash in the pan remains to be seen.

The latest statistics show a drop in Super Bowl viewership, an increase in
the cost per game ticket and drops in average per game attendance—yet NFL games remain popular with sponsors and advertisers. A 30-second Super Bowl LIII ad costs at least $5 million, about the same as 2018. Some newer brands will be making their first appearance at the big game, including dating app Bumble and expense management company Expensify. Planters is returning for its first Super Bowl commercial since 2008. Anheuser-Busch, a veteran advertiser of the championship game, is buying 5 1/2 minutes of airtime, its largest-ever media spend for the game.

Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.