Taylor Swift Effect had a massive impact on Super Bowl ratings

Here's a look at how Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce helped Super Bowl LVIII draw a record number of viewers.


The Kansas City Chiefs may have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, but NFL owners were the real winners on Sunday night.

Over 123.7 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs' 25-22 overtime victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII, per Nielsen. It was not only the largest viewership in the 58-year history of the Super Bowl, but also the largest national audience for any televised event since astronauts walked on the moon in 1969.

By comparison, an estimated 125 million to 150 million people watched U.S. astronauts take the first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969. The event was shown on three broadcasts, which were the only television channels available at the time.

There were plenty of enticing reasons to watch the championship game. The Kansas City Chiefs were cementing their place as the first NFL dynasty in the post-Tom Brady era. The San Francisco 49ers were looking for their first championship in almost 30 years. It became just the second overtime game in Super Bowl history. The halftime performance featured superstars Usher, Alicia Keys, H.E.R., will.i.am, Lil Jon and Ludacris. And, of course, the Super Bowl commercials.

None of that mattered as much as the biggest draw of the night: global pop sensation Taylor Swift.

A Love Story: How Taylor Swift brought a new audience to the Super Bowl

Not since the days of "Broadway Joe" Namath has the football world seen such a convergence between pop culture and the gridiron. Swift, who has been dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, helped increase female viewership by roughly 11 percent this season, according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Ever since Swift showed up at Arrowhead Stadium in September, a media frenzy has followed her relationship with Kelce. The Chiefs saw a 39.4 percent jump in overall viewership for prime-time games during the 2023 regular season. That number was only bound to rise when the Chiefs punched their ticket to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.

According to a flash poll conducted by consumer research firm Numerator, 20 percent of Super Bowl LVIII viewers said they were rooting for the Chiefs because of Kelce's relationship with Swift. For context, that would be approximately 24.74 million viewers.

“[Swift] is without a doubt incremental to audience on the NFL,” Bob Bakish, the chief executive of CBS parent company Paramount Global said in a Bloomberg interview. “She’s a great addition, widening the net of the NFL viewer even further.”

While Super Bowl viewership increased in every single demographic, the most dramatic increase came among young and female viewers. Women between the ages of 18 and 24 accounted for 3.87 million viewers — 24 percent higher than last year (3.18 million). Men between the ages of 18 and 24 ranked second with 4.61 million viewers, a 20 percent increase from last year (3.86 million). Girls between the ages of 12 and 17 ranked third with 2.85 million viewers — an 11 percent increase from last year (2.63 million). Those three demographics combined to average 1.81 million more viewers than last year, accounting for 24 percent of the 7.41 million additional viewers.

By comparison, viewers in other age groups saw a relatively lower increase. For example, between the ages of 25 and 54, viewership increased six percent for women and one percent for men. That age demographic produced 47.5 million viewers, an overall increase of just three percent from last year (49.06 million).

Women accounted for 47.5 percent of the overall audience — a new Super Bowl record. There were 58.18 million female viewers — 4.4 million more than last year (53.78 million). Male viewership increased by 3 million.

Here's a look at different demographics ordered by viewership increase from last year, per SportsMediaWatch.


Percent increase from 2023

Women, age 18-24


All viewers, age 18-24


Men, age 18-24


Girls, age 12-17


Women, age 55 or older


Women, 18 or older


Women, age 18-34


Women, age 18-49


Women, age 18-54


Women — all ages


All viewers, age 18-34


All viewers, age 55 or older


All viewers, age 12-17


Men, age 18-34


Men, age 55 or older


Women, age 25 or older


Women, age 35-64


All adult viewers


All viewers, age 2 or older


All viewers, age 18-49


Women, age 25-54


Boys, age 12-17


Men, age 18-54


All viewers, age 25 or older


Men, age 18 or older


All male viewers


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