The wait to find out how many people watched the Super Bowl is proving to be as interminable as the game itself.
Nielsen on Monday night confirmed that ratings for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night were unlikely to be released until at least Tuesday morning. The data and research firm alluded to possible issues with measurement of out of home viewing in acknowledging the delay.
“Super Bowl numbers are still being processed and verified. We anticipate that final viewing figures, which will include Out Of Home (OOH) viewing, will be available to the media tomorrow,” a Nielsen spokesperson said. “We will update the press and the industry accordingly when a final timeline is confirmed.”
This would be the first time in recent memory that broadcast television ratings for the Super Bowl had experienced such a major delay.
The Tampa Bay-Kansas City match-up on CBS featured two small-market teams, but also two of the league’s biggest stars in Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. Unfortunately, the clash of the Hall of Fame-bound veteran and the young defending champion quarterback proved to be a listless affair. The Bucs took the lead late in the first quarter and widened it steadily as the game dragged on, with the Chiefs undone by a plague of defensive penalties and the poor play of their normally dynamic offense.
CBS also suffered its own embarrassments. Streaming service CBS All Access buckled under the weight of viewers trying to stream the game Sunday, crashing for several minutes around kick-off and drawing a flurry of criticism on social media.