The 2021 Super Bowl had the lowest TV rating in 52 years, according to Sports Media Watch.
The championship game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs drew a 38.2 rating, the lowest since 1969 Super Bowl rating of 36.0. That game featured the New York Jets and Baltimore Colts.
The 38.2 rating means that an estimated 38.2% of all TV homes in the country had the game on, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The 2021 Super Bowl drew 91.63 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch.
The 2021 Super Bowl did have an average audience of 5.7 million on streaming platforms which was the best ever for the championship game, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The drop in viewership continued a trend of fewer people watching NFL games. During the regular season, NFL games were down 7%, The Hollywood Reporter stated.
The NFL has struggled with how to deal with anti-police protests by the players that were started in 2016 by then San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.
In August of 2020, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to Kaepernick for not listening to his reasoning for why he kneeled during the National Anthem. Goodell made his comments after the death of George Floyd.
“I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to.” Goodell said, according to Sports Illustrated. “We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that, we never did. We would have benefited from that, absolutely.”
The NFL played the “black National Anthem,” Lift Every Voice And Sing, before every season-opener in 2020, according to NPR.
NPR reported the NFL was doing it as a way to “recognized victims of systemic racism.”
In June several NFL players made a video called “Stronger Together” which named alleged victims of police brutality, according to NPR.