Not the Lowest Rated Super Bowl Ever, but Close

Even die-hard football fans who take special pleasure in a defensive battle that results in low-scoring games were likely to declare last night’s Super Bowl LIII (that’s 53 if you don’t read Latin) was boring. The New England Patriots’ 13 to 3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams notched a Nielsen overnight rating of just 44.9, the lowest in 10 years.

Fans in Boston and Los Angeles tuned in, with Boston notching a 57.4 rating and LA a 44.6. That was the best ratings score for Boston since 2015 and the best for Los Angeles since 1996. After skipping 2016, Boston has appeared in the past three Super Bowl games, while the Rams have made it to three total, winning in 2000 when the team’s home was in St. Louis.

After three quarters of Sunday’s game, neither team had scored a touchdown, the first time a Super Bowl game had gone that long with a six-pointer. A dubious achievement for certain.

According to the same-day rating from Nielsen, 87.72 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 watched the game, a 71% share of the market and rating of 27.9 for that demographic. Full demographic data and overall rating, share, and viewer numbers will be out later today or early tomorrow.

New Orleans, home of the Saints, boycotted this year’s game after losing to New England on a disputed call by an official. The overnight rating for New Orleans was a minuscule 26.1. Last year’s game between the Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles drew an overnight of 53. Ratings of 50 or more are the rule in New Orleans; ratings nearer 25 are the exception.