Super Women, Super Bowl

David Deal
3 min readFeb 15, 2024

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Everyone knew the 2024 Super Bowl would be big. But how about the most watched telecast of all time? Now that’s another level of big.

The game attracted an average viewership of 123.4 million, setting a new record for the most-watched television broadcast in history. Out of this audience, 112 million viewers watched the game on CBS. The remaining viewership was distributed among Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Univision, CBS Sports, and various NFL digital platforms, including NFL+. (Nickelodeon’s coverage, aimed at children, featured child-friendly special effects.)

That the viewership was spread out over so many platforms speaks to the fragmented way we’re experiencing live sports, which is in a transition between linear TV and streaming. Linear TV still dominates Super Bowl viewing. But the day will come when streaming will take over. How soon?

The Taylor Swift Effect was real. According to a Numerator survey, 20 percent of the game’s audience said they were rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs because of Swift’s relationship with Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce. And she drove viewership. Per Sports Media Watch, Super Bowl viewership among females 18–24 increased 24 percent — the biggest percentage increase for any demographic. Super Bowl viewership for females 12–17 was up 11 percent. Women accounted for 47.5 percent of the overall audience, up from 46.7 percent last year.

And how many families experienced the game together because Swift’s younger fan base joined Mom and Dad to watch? You can be sure the NFL is taking a hard look at how to keep that family mojo going.

Some winners from the increased viewership:

1 The NFL. One of the world’s most powerful brands was spiking the ball in the end zone.

2 NFL fans, who were treated to only the second overtime game in Super Bowl history as the Chiefs pulled out a thrilling, come-from-behind victory.

3 Beyoncé, who capitalized on the global stage to announce her new album, Act II, dropping on March 29. She also released two new singles. Her social media spaces lit up, and overnight news media and influencers carpet bombed the internet with buzz.

4 Usher, who performed at the halftime show in conjunction with the release of his new album, “Coming Home.” He achieved an estimated $52 million in exposure. His Spotify streams increased 550% in the United States following his performance.

5 The clothing brands that Taylor Swift wore, including AREA, WEAR by Erin Andrews, DION LEE, and Judith Leiber. Each time Swift appeared in a cutaway shot, she gave those brands millions of dollars worth of visibility. They enjoyed strong coverage among fashion publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, and Town & Country within minutes of Swift showing up for the game, thanks largely to fashion blogger Sarah Chapelle posting real-time insights into Swift’s wardrobe on Chapelle’s Instagram. Swift’s impact is enormous here. The Chiefs jacket designed by Kristin Juszczyk that she wore to the Jan. 13 Chiefs/Dolphins playoff game will change how the NFL markets apparel to women.

6 Advertisers, who got their money’s worth with the historic ratings.

Where does the NFL go from here? Answer: level up with women, who comprise half the league’s fan base. This is the lesson from Taylor Swift’s association with the NFL: the power of women.

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