Updated at 3:31pm PT with new numbers:
Perhaps it was the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, or maybe it was the celebrities, including movie director Ava DuVernay, who called for a boycott of the game.
Whatever the reason, the ratings for Super Bowl LIII fell to an 11-year low, according to numbers released Monday.
Nielsen figures show the broadcast drew approximately 98.2 million viewers on CBS, Variety reported. Those numbers marked the lowest Super Bowl ratings since 2008, when 97.5 million people watched. Sunday’s Super Bowl ratings were also 5 percent lower than the 2018 game, which drew 103.4 million viewers.
Despite this year’s ratings drop, it should be noted that the Super Bowl remains the most-watched program in the nation each year.
During Sunday’s matchup in Atlanta, the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3. The low score may have contributed to the game’s reduced ratings.
The Halftime Show, headlined by Maroon 5 with appearances by rapper Travis Scott and Outkast’s Big Boi, probably didn’t help. The mini-concert was criticized for being lackluster and boring. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was also skewered on social media for taking his shirt off during the performance.
That wasn’t the only controversy surrounding the Halftime Show.
A number of artists turned down the chance to perform, including rapper Cardi B, over the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick and players who kneel during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice in America.
Cardi B told The Associated Press, “I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”