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Motor City Matthew

The second highest-rated Super Bowl LVI television market after Cincinnati was Detroit

February 15, 2022

Kevin C. Cox

Ready for a "no-sh*t Sherlock" moment? Super Bowl LVI was a smash hit. After hitting a 10-year low in 2021, ratings rebounded in a big way this year, The Big Game pulling in 112.3 million viewers across broadcast and streaming platforms, the highest total figure since the Patriots vs. Seahawks in 2015. Those figures made Super Bowl LVI the most-watched television program in America in half a decade and proved that football—despite poor officiating, annual boycott grumbling, and the gradual loss of ubiquitous superstars like Tom Brady—is very much alive and well.

Equally unsurprising was the fact that the Cincinnati market, which hadn’t seen its beloved Bengals in the Super Bowl since 1989, topped the ratings charts, earning a 46.1 rating (meaning 46.1% of all TVs in greater Cincinnati were tuned to the Super Bowl) with 84 share (meaning of everyone watching TV on Sunday, 84% were watching the Super Bowl). Those are whopping numbers, but here is where things get interesting. The second highest-rated market was not Los Angeles, who didn’t even crack the top ten, but instead Detroit, who flocked in droves to watch former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford win his first-ever Super Bowl. In the end, the Motor City came in just behind Cincinnati with a 45.9/79 rating/share split.

Congrats, Matthew. You’re now bigger than that Seinfeld guy.

Clearly Lions fans realized this might be the closest they ever get to a Super Bowl and made the most of it. Los Angeles, meanwhile, posted a 36.7 rating and 77% share, significantly lower than that of Cincinnati and Detroit. But before you go ahead and bag on La La Land, due to sheer size, L.A. more than doubled Cincinnati’s total viewers despite lagging behind by nearly 10% in terms of rating. All in all, not a bad night for the NFL ... or Mr. Stafford.