Super Bowl TV Ratings Will Be Up, Says Ball State Professor

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Super Bowl TV Ratings Will Be Up, Says Ball State Professor

Prof. Dom Caristi believes a four-year trend of lower ratings will end this year, due to multiple factors.

MUNCIE, Ind. -- On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers punched their tickets to Miami for this year's Super Bowl. 

The big game is set for Sunday, February 2.

So, will you be watching? Ball State professor Dom Caristi says there's a better chance you will than in the past few years. 

"We peaked in 2015, with an average of 114 million viewers in the United States," Caristi said. "Then we dropped (every year since), to only 98 million viewers last year. I'm confident we get back up above 100 million viewers this year."

He says there are many reasons why ratings will be higher in 2020, especially with the Chiefs and 49ers playing. 

"Both teams have great storylines," Caristi said. "We have two young quarterbacks. We have a great offense going against a great defense. Plus, you have a team, in Kansas City, that hasn't won the Super Bowl in 50 years. And San Francisco is trying to tie for the most Super Bowl wins." 

It helps that it's a team other than the New England Patriots. Caristi says many Americans, not just Colts fans, were tired of seeing Tom Brady and the Patriots playing in the Super Bowl. 

"There is something to the fatigue that comes when the same team is playing several years in a row."

Caristi also says this year's halftime performance, which features Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, will keep viewers glued to the television.

"There will be a lot of people interested in seeing what kinds of fireworks and light show extravaganza they can build around that," he said. 

Something new that will play a factor in viewership numbers, specifically in Indiana, is the legalization of sports gambling. 

"That definitely increases people's interest," he says. "That's a natural hook that will get people excited about the game."

Caristi says one more thing that could play a factor in how many people will watch the Super Bowl is the weather in your area. 

"If people are stuck home on Sunday night, and there aren't as many people going out because of bad weather, it's going to drive the ratings up," he said. "It's not by accident that TV has higher ratings in the winter than it does in the summer."

(PHOTO: Joe Sohm/Getty)

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