According to the Nielsen ratings, the last three Super Bowls have been the most watched programs -- in the entire history of television. Last year more than 110 million viewers watched as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17, and you know those couldn't have all been East Coast Gridiron fans. But that's part of what makes the Super Bowl such a unique television event. What else could bring together a die hard fan and the casual enthusiast, moms making football-themed snacks and dads introducing the sport to their kids, and people the world over who just want to see whatever crazy commercial will be talked about at work for the next few weeks,
Since it's inception in 1967, the Super Bowl has served as the ultimate showcase for football, America's favorite sporting competition. When the AFC and the NFC decided to merge, the Super Bowl became the perfect way for fans across the country to root for their respective conferences in a national setting. But since that time all those years ago, people now watch "The Big Game" for more than just the exciting gameplay. Hilarious and usually over-the-top commercials have become an expected bonus to the action. The Super Bowl Halftime Show has also become a source of massive entertainment as the big-budget performances of the nation's top recording artists provide memorable and often controversial talking points year round.
Imagine, in 1982 almost half of the country watched as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals to win Super Bowl XVI. Granted services like DVRs and Comcast cable TV weren't available yet, but that's still a lot of people to all be watching the same event at once. This was the first broadcast of prolific coach and commentator John Madden, singer Diana Ross was brought in to sing the national anthem. Last year's Super Bowl XLVI halftime show featuring Madonna, M.I.A. and Ceelo Green became the most watched performance ever as well as being one of the most Tweeted events. And who knows how many people will be watching this year's highly anticipated performance by headliner, Beyonce?
The last few generations of Americans have gotten to grow up with the Super Bowl as a yearly event where families and friends get together over food, drinks and sometimes but not necessarily a love of the game. For some time Super Bowl Sunday has been the second biggest day of food consumption in America right behind Thanksgiving. It’s not clear exactly why people in the country treat the Super Bowl like a national holiday, taking the time to relax at home or even calling in sick to work the next morning. Today about one third of the US population watches the Super Bowl with several million viewers accessing the program from one of the 224 countries where it is broadcast.
So even if you're not a stat-loving fan in a bar full of people know that if you watch this year's Super Bowl, you are most definitely not alone.