Tuesday, February 09, 2010

How Many People Watched the Super Bowl: A Better Guess Than Nielsen

The ratings are in and Super Bowl XLIV is the most watched event in U.S. television history. 106.5 million people watched, passing the MASH finale and the debut of Jersey Shore.

But I call bullshit on those numbers. Forget about how the numbers compare to each other, that’s impossible to debate because things have changed so much in the past 27 years.

But to say only 106 million people watched the Super Bowl seems awfully low to me.

Here’s why:

There are roughly 325 million people in U.S.

4 million babies are born each year, so if no children under 2 watched, that’s 8 million, throw in another 2 million random kids and that’s 10 million kids not watching.

I’d say 20 million elderly are unable to watch due to age or infirmity.

About 10 million people across the country were probably at work, at jobs where they couldn’t watch the game.

There are about 15 million gays, about a million of whom probably watched. And another 15 million lesbians, about 14 million of whom probably watched.

And I will give you another 50 million women and men who didn’t watch the game due to lack of interest.

That’s 105 million people not watching.

Which means about 220 million were watching, more than double what Nielsen said.

And if you disagree with my numbers here’s what you need to do, think about everyone you know, from infants to infirm and see if you get a number less than one-third of whom watched at least some of the game.

Note: I know it’s impossible to measure how many people are watching at parties, restaurants and bars, but to charge people for this service and to be that far off, it just doesn’t make any sense for this company to even exist if this is the quality of their estimate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How many foreigners are in this country? 50million or so? most foreigners don't like american football

how many people don't have a tv? maybe 20 or 30 million? i don't have a tv ( i have a tv but its analog and i don't have a convertor box or cable)

there could be money other reasons as to why some one would skip watching the game; students cramming on a sunday night, people going out, people watching something else, etc... so i would say the estimate is pretty accurate.