Nielsen Admits Super Bowl LVII Undercount Missing 2M Viewers

Fox Sports
(Image credit: Fox Sports)

NEW YORK—Nielsen has released new data for Super Bowl LVII that showed it was watched by 115.1 million people, making it the most watched Super Bowl Contest ever. 

Nielsen initially reported that about 113 million people watched the game on Fox, Fox Deportes and streaming services on Feb. 12, 2023 as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles (38 – 35) at State Farm Stadium in Arizona. Subsequently, Nielsen uncovered coding errors that increased the total by about 2 million.

That beat the previous record 114.4 million for 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX on NBC.

In an interview with Variety, Mike Mulvihill, executive vice president and head of strategy and analytics for Fox Sports, explained that the NFL noticed discrepancies in the numbers and asked Nielsen to review the data, which led to the discovery of coding errors.  

In a tweet, the Fox Sports noted that "Nielsen restated the viewership for FOX Sports’ presentation of Super Bowl LVII as 115.1 million viewers – the most-watched Super Bowl in history. This revision is the product of a thorough review by Nielsen that revealed irregularities in the encoding that enables Nielsen’s measurement of TV viewing as well as issues with the out-of-home measurement of Super Bowl LVII.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.