- Football fans are less likely to watch the Super Bowl on broadcast TV this year as they shift their viewing to devices such as connected TVs (CTVs), smartphones and tablets, according to the latest annual survey by mobile video ad network AdColony. The percentage of viewers who said they'll watch the big game on a smartphone rose to 11% this year, up from 7% in 2019.
- Traditional channels still lead the pack, however, as almost three-fourths (72%) of surveyed Super Bowl viewers will watch the game on broadcast TV, followed by connected TV (13%), smartphone (11%), desktop/laptop (7%) and tablet (5%), per AdColony. But the firm's research found broadcast TV viewership of the big game will slip 15 percentage points from last year.
- Many Super Bowl viewers plan to use their mobile devices while they watch the Feb. 2 game. The most common mobile activities will be texting (29% of survey respondents), playing mobile games (28%) and browsing social media (27%). AdColony surveyed 400 people worldwide, with a large portion of responses coming from North America.
AdColony's survey indicates that broadcast TV will remain the primary way for people to watch the big game, but many viewers will depend on connected devices for viewing and "second-screening" activities.
Mobile devices are key to reaching younger viewers who are more likely to consume video content on their smartphones than older generations. However, 92% of Super Bowl viewers are at least 35 years old, per AdColony, which eliminates a significant portion of the millennial and Gen Z audience.
Last year, the Super Bowl's streaming audience grew 20% to 7.5 million unique devices, according to CBS Sports. That helps to explain some of the drop in broadcast viewership to an 11-year low of 98.2 million, per Nielsen data cited by CNBC. Streaming revenue may have added 4% to 5% to broadcast revenue, which would translate into $16.8 million, The Hollywood Reporter calculated based on linear TV Super Bowl ad revenue of $336 million.
Even as CTV and mobile devices become more important channels to engage consumers around the Super Bowl, the focus for advertisers remains on big, splashy TV spots. Fox, which is broadcasting the game this year, sold 30-second ad slots for as much as $5.6 million, Variety reported. The network said it sold all 77 spots by Thanksgiving, the earliest a Super Bowl has sold out since 2011.