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Super Bowl LI: Viewers’ Game-Day Strategies

Thu, Feb. 02, 2017 | By: Alexis Peschiera


Super Bowl LI is just days away, and the hype continues to build. There’s something for everyone: the game, the ads, the half-time show—not to mention extensions and counterprogramming such as the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet and multiple TV-series marathons. With so many reasons to watch, and so many ways to watch, we asked our consumer panel a few quick questions on how they’ll be engaging with Super Bowl content this year. Read on to see what we found, and be sure to check back next week for a follow-up examining post-viewing behaviors.

The big game is the big draw
Football fanatics will be happy to know that despite all the hype about ads and the halftime show, the main draw is still the game itself.


Interestingly, preference for the game, ads, the halftime show, and the social aspects of the game break down differently for different age groups and genders:

  • Interest in ads is strongest among Gen X and Boomers.
  • Millennials are more likely than other groups to watch in order to socialize with friends/family.
  • Surprise! According to our panel, women are far more interested in the halftime show than men are.

Linear TV still wins in sports
Sports fans love watching live, and the Super Bowl is of course no exception. All age groups strongly indicated that they intend to watch the Super Bowl on a TV via cable/satellite provider. This makes sense. While streaming services for sports content have expanded in recent years, the Super Bowl is still an event, and people probably want to see all the action on the big screen—another reason why they may prefer their standard living room setup. Plus, add in the social aspect (Super Bowl party, anyone?) and a big screen is a no-brainer.

Mobile devices are part of the experience
Almost half of all respondents will be on their mobile devices throughout the entire game. Digging deeper, we see that there are differences based on age and gender:

  • Nearly 7 out of 10 Millennials will be on their mobile device throughout the whole game.
  • On the other hand, nearly 7 out of 10 Boomers will be on their mobile intermittently.
  • Women are 20% more likely to be online throughout whole game vs. men.


What does it all mean for attention and post-viewing action?
Does all this mobile activity imply viewers are not paying attention? Or are they are doubling down on attention and second-screening in order to look up stats, watch ads that just aired, and take other actions related to the viewing experience? As TV and video continue to intertwine and attention flows seamlessly across devices during “TV events,” we’re examining how it happens and what it means for content owners and advertisers alike. 

Check back next week for our post-game follow-up that will answer these questions!

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