The Los Angeles Rams, in just their third season back in Southern California after a two-decade sojourn in St. Louis, reached the Super Bowl this year, losing to the New England Patriots, 13-3, on Sunday. But it doesn’t appear that the return of the Rams has drawn as much fan interest as the league hoped, at least not so far.
According to Pro Football Talk, which cited a tweet by Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, Sunday’s Super Bowl drew a 44.6 overnight rating in the Los Angeles market, which is less than the 44.9 rating nationwide. The Patriots’ home market of Boston posted an overnight rating of 57.4 for Super Bowl LIII. Those ratings translate to the percentage of TV-equipped households that were tuned into the game.
The rating was, however, the highest for a Super Bowl in the Los Angeles market since 1996, as it marked the first time a Los Angeles team had played in the “Big Game” since the league’s return to the city three years ago.
This year’s Super Bowl, the lowest-scoring in the game’s history, was widely considered boring to watch, and it’s possible that many Los Angeles fans tuned out of the game early due to their team’s uninspired performance. One market with an even lower rating than Los Angeles was New Orleans where, per NOLA.com, numerous fans boycotted the game in retaliation for a bad call that went against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game last month. Ratings in that market were only 26.2.
The Super Bowl ratings went down. Blame Saints fans -- and a terrible game. https://t.co/QB0gMhxHH9— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) February 4, 2019
Per Austin Karp’s numbers, which he posted on Twitter, ratings for the Super Bowl have declined each of the past five years, from 49.7 in 2015 to 44.9 this year. However, even with the year-over-year declines, the game still drew more than 100 million viewers across platforms, per CNN. Nearly every year, the Super Bowl is the highest-rated network television broadcast of the entire year.
The Rams and Raiders were the two teams in Los Angeles for many years, but in 1994, both teams relocated, with the Rams heading to St. Louis and the Raiders back to their original home city of Oakland. The Los Angeles market remained without an NFL team until the 2016 season, when the Rams moved back to Los Angeles. A year later, the former San Diego Chargers joined them. Both the Rams and Chargers are scheduled to move into a new stadium in Inglewood, currently known as Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, in 2020. The new stadium will host Super Bowl LVI in 2022.