Analysis: The Big Game Delivers Big Ratings Gains For Flagship Radio Stations.


Super Bowl Sunday may be the biggest TV viewing event of the year, but the Big Game also draws a huge audience of engaged listeners to radio. For last year’s match-up of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the Kansas City Chiefs, listening to the teams’ flagship stations increased by up to 118% on Super Bowl Sunday.


A four-year Nielsen ratings analysis conducted by Katz Radio Group of flagship stations of Super Bowl teams shows they doubled their AQH share on game day, when compared with their typical Sunday share. Among adults 25-54, Super Bowl radio flagships rose from a 7.0 AQH share on an average Sunday to a 13.5 on Super Bowl Sunday. The lift was even more pronounced among adults 18-49, jumping 6.2-13.4.


Narrowing the lens to last year’s Big Game shows similar results. From January-December 2020, the average Sunday AQH share among adults 25-54 for Super Bowl LV flagship stations (Audacy country WDAF Kanas City and iHeartMedia rock WXTB Tampa) was 7.6. On Super Bowl Sunday 2021, it shot up to 13.0. The ratings gain was similar among 18–34-year-olds, climbing 6.3-13.7.


Looking at just in-game listening – covering the period from the start of the game until three hours and 45 minutes later – shows far more dramatic results. The four-year all-day Sunday average (Jan-Dec) for Adults 25-54was 6.4. That exploded to an average 32.8 in-game share.Among 18–49-year-olds, the lift was 5.8-35.6. And when zeroing in on last year’s Big Game, 25-54 shares went 5.4-32.0 and 18-34 5.4-43.4 from the full year Sunday average to in-game listening during Super Bowl LV.


And it’s not just men tuning in. Scarborough USA+ data shows 30% of Super Bowl radio listeners are women. On average, Super Bowl Sunday shares nearly double with women demographics when compared to a standard year.And Super Bowl in-game shares grow by 600% with women demos when compared to the same daypart in a standard year.


Qualitative data from Scarborough USA+ shows Super Bowl radio listeners to be a desirable target for advertisers. This group plan to spend their money in 2022, indexing well over 100 in several key categories. Adults 18+ who listen to the Super Bowl on radio are 176% more likely to buy or lease a luxury vehicle, 130% more apt to buy or lease a pickup truck and 124% more prone to buy or lease a full-size car. They’re 115% more likely to plan a golf/tennis vacation, 88% more prone to make a gambling/casino excursion and 80% more likely to take a spa vacationHome improvement plans are also high on their list. Adults 18+ who listen to the Super Bowl on radio are 85% more apt to have plumbing work done in the next year, 81% more likely to invest in siding and 66% moreprone to build an addition on their home. They’re also more likely to make household purchases invariety of categories, including computer, smart home technology, mattress, game console, furniture, and major appliance.

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