Social media bets on 49ers to win the Super Bowl

Who watches, how do they watch and which team has a better social presence

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 31, 2013
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In case you've been completely cut off from television, the Internet and all other forms of media for the past two weeks, you know that the biggest event in television, sports and, basically, life in general is once again upon us. Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen... It's Superbowl time!

I'm sure I don't have to convince you that the Super Bowl is a huge event. Just in case, though, there is one statistic that puts the sheer size of it into perspective: last year's Super Bowl between the Giants and the Patriots, which drew in 111.3 million viewers, was the third consecutive Super Bowl to set the record as the most-watched television show in U.S. history.

That's... kind of nuts.

Since the Super Bowl has become such a huge event, Nielsen has come out a new infographic, breaking down who was watching the game last year, how they are watching and how they have been connecting to the game in the weeks following up to this Sunday's game.

Ravens vs. 49ers: who has the most loyal fans?

If the outcome of the Super Bowl were determined just by which team had the most active fans on the Internet, the 49ers would automatically emerge victorious.

The 49ers had more fans visit their website and more page views  than the Ravens. 506,000 fans visited, while only 376,000, people visited The 49ers also had more average pageviews, 8 to 6. Interestingly, the 49ers only beat out time spent on the Ravens site per person by nine seconds. 

On top of that, the 49ers also win with more Facebook likes and more Twitter followers. The 49ers official Facebook page has 1,677,378 likes, and its official Twitter account  has 330,773 followers. The Ravens official Facebook page has only 1,347,542 likes and its official Twitter account has 271,334 followers. 

Who is watching

When broken down by gender, men barely edge out women, 55% to 45%. In 2003, the percentage of women watching was 43%, so the numbers have slowly been rising. They also accounted for 35% of the 31.4 million visitors on in December.

This statistic might surprise some people, but it really shouldn't. First of all, there are some really hardcore female football fans out there, who are even more fanatical than some of the male fans I know. If you think its only men who are into football, you need to get out more. Second, there are a lot of different reasons to watch the game. Take my sister, for example. She has never watched a regular season football game in her life. Not even a single minute of one. She will watch the Super Bowl, though, just for the commercials and the halftime show. 

Also rising is the viewership of those aged 25-54, which has gone up by 8% since 2003. Those between the ages of 35-49 made up 28% of those visiting this past December. Why is this important? Because these are people who buy things. Having extremely high viewership is only one piece of the puzzle; to make it worth advertising, people the ads have to actually increase sales, especially considering that the average price for a 30 second ad this year is $3.8 million, up 8.6% from the $3.5 million it cost last year.

Luckily for advertisers, 26% of the homes that watched the Super Bowl last year made over $100,000. Unluckily, almost the same amount, 22%, made under $30,000.

How are people watching?

When it comes to how people view sports, things have obviously changed in the last few years with the rise of mobile. It is no longer just about watching the game, but about connecting to other fans, looking up statistics and checking the scores, sometimes while watching another game. 

In December alone, 3.3 million people visited the smartphone app, spending an average of 22 minutes and 39 seconds. The desktop version of averaged 12.4 million unique visitors a month, with an average time of just shy of 32 minutes on the site. 

If you are a brand considering which app and website to showcase your ad, those numbers have to impress you.

And, of course, there is plenty of second screen usage going on while the Super Bowl is being played. A Nielsen study from April 2012 found that 86% of tablet owners and 88% of smartphone users say that they are on their devices while watching TV.

A full 33% of tablet owners between the ages of 25 to 64 say that they checked sports scores while watching television, and 60% of smartphone and tablet owners who access sports content on their device do it every day.

I hope that these people are at least waiting for a commercial break before busting out their phone!

Check out the full infographic below:

(Image source:

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