In considering this question, I little knew what a raging debate I was stepping into. That makes sense, I suppose, given how much money is spent in advertisements on this day (personally the reason why I am tuning into this particular game… I don’t get excited about a ‘Harbowl’, but I do want to see what Budweiser will come up with next).
The main contention is whether this year’s viewership will set another record. International Business Times seems quite open to the prospect, whereas Media Life Magazine is more skeptical. Last year’s viewership set a record at 111.3 million average–the question is whether this year’s matchup will generate more excitement or not.
I personally don’t think that matters very much. Media executives can speculate about the size of a team’s home media market, how storied the rivalry is, etc. I think more people will watch because it is entertainment, pure and simple: something to talk about around the office watercooler, increasingly for males and females.
And how many will tune in beyond our blessed borders?
As football games go, this one is the most televised world wide. The BBC cuts its normal midnight programming to allow a rugby player and a special guest B-rated football player to discuss the merits of both games. The Germans likewise invite someone to explain the nature of the odd “four downs” game in as scientific a manner as possible. The Hispanic world will have to allow ‘futbol norteamericano’ a chance to interrupt the constant flow of ‘futbol’ chatter. I have no idea whether Asians will care enough to watch–there is no chance of a gold medal, so I suspect not. Since these countries don’t have the opportunity to watch the ads as well, I can only imagine that viewership is smaller–watching men in funny costumes hit each other can only be mesmerizing for so long.
If I am correct, then the ads will be a major pull. At any rate, this is the first year I noticed ads coming up anticipating the ones during the Super Bowl. (e.g. Mercedes).