4:00 PM -- Just to remind all of the raving blueblooded Americans out there, our pigskin pinnacle -- Super Bowl XL -- is not the biggest sporting event in the world.
Here are the largest TV sports sudiences of all time, according to various sources:
1. 2002 FIFA World Cup Final (1.3 billion viewers)
2. Euro 2004 Soccer Final (153 million viewers)
3. 2004 Olympic Games: opening ceremony (127 million viewers)
4. 2004 Olympic Games: closing ceremony (96 million viewers)
5. 2004 Super Bowl (95 million viewers)
6. 2004 Olympic Games: men's 100m metres (87 million viewers)
7. 2003 Champions League (67 million viewers)
8. 2004 Olympic Games: men's 200m freestyle swimming (66 million viewers)
9. 2004 Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix (59 million viewers)
10. 2004 Basketball: NBA finals (25 million viewers)
And here are some more factoids on the SuperBowl:
- According to our own Unstrung, the Super Bowl will be one gigantic WiFi Hotspot.
- The cost for a 30-second spot during the 2005 game rose to $2,400,000 from $2,302,200 in 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
- Over the past ten years, the most-watched Super Bowl was the 1996 contest between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, which drew 94.1 million viewers for an average household rating of 46%, says Nielsen
- Nielsen also reports that in 2005, Super Bowl advertisers experienced a 27% increase in their Website visitations, which rose from 17.6 million unique visitors on Super Bowl Sunday to more than 22.3 million the next day. Fox Sports, CareerBuilder.com, and Verizon Wireless experienced the highest Website visitation growth the day after Super Bowl XXXIX.
- Seattle's NFL fans drink more gourmet coffee than Pittsburgh fans. (Okay, so somebody just made that up.)
I wasn't able to retrieve any data about how many folks will be watching the Super Bowl over IPTV. If you have it, send it my way.
In the meantime, you can weigh in with your pick on our Super Bowl XL Message Board. Who knows, we may even provide comment during the game.
— R. Scott Raynovich, Editor in Chief, Light Reading