COVID-19 kept countless families and friends apart over the winter holidays. Now, many Americans are planning for a socially distanced Super Bowl.
In a Morning Consult poll conducted a month out from Super Bowl LV, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 7 in Tampa, Fla., only 16 percent of U.S. adults said they are likely to host or attend a gathering to watch the NFL’s title game.
Among those who indicated they are likely to watch the game, 24 percent said they will likely do so with a group of people they don’t live with -- down from 39 percent in an identical survey last month -- with 9 percent saying they are “very likely” to do so. By comparison, 74 percent of likely viewers said they are unlikely to host or attend a gathering, including 49 percent who said it is “not likely at all.”
The share of likely viewers who plan to get together for this year’s Super Bowl is down more than 20 percent from a survey conducted at roughly the same time in 2019 for Super Bowl LIV, which found that about 31 percent of those who expected to watch the game planned to congregate with friends and family for Super Bowl LIV.
Restrictions on social gatherings remain in place across the country, but they vary drastically by state. In the Los Angeles Rams’ home state of California, for example, Gov. Gavin Newsom prohibited get-togethers with anyone outside of one’s household. In Missouri, home of the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, there are no limits on outings.
Thirty-five percent of Gen Zers who indicated they are likely to watch Super Bowl LV said they are likely to do so with non-household members, compared to 34 percent of likely millennial viewers, 24 percent of likely Gen X viewers and 11 percent of baby boomer viewers.
Overall, 57 percent of Americans plan to watch Super Bowl LV, down from a Morning Consult poll conducted at roughly the same time in 2019 in which 64 percent of respondents said they planned to watch Super Bowl LIV. According to Sports Media Watch, last year’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers drew a television audience of 100.45 million on Fox, marking a 2 percent increase from 2019 but the second-lowest figure for a Super Bowl since 2009.
The Jan. 8-10 survey of 2,200 U.S. adults has a margin of error of 2 percentage points. The margin of error for the group of 1,241 respondents who said they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to watch Super Bowl LV is 3 percentage points.