From Superbowl XLIV (2010 New Orleans vs. Indianapolis) to Superbowl XLVIII (2014 Seattle vs. Denver) the overall viewership numbers from Nielsen have held relatively steady with over 100 million viewers. Yet at the same time, the Hispanic viewership numbers have been increasing. This doesn’t come as a surprise, and in fact each year the Hispanic viewership numbers break new records: from 8 million for XLIV (2010) to nearly 18 million for XLVII (2013).
With agreements in place to televise all games in Spanish, broadcast Superbowl XLVIII in Spanish, and continue to outreach to the Hispanic community, the NFL continues to see success. Although the focus on Spanish language is a big step, it should be noted that Hispanic viewership is not only based on language, as the majority of NFL fans (Hispanic or otherwise) do speak English and watch the broadcasts in English.
Here is an interesting graphic that illustrates some of the differences between the leagues as it relates to Hispanic viewership.
One of the more interesting results surfaces while comparing the NFL to MLB (Major League Baseball). While the Hispanic proportion of viewership is similar (8-9% range), the proportion of total athletes that are Hispanic is significantly different (27% for MLB to 4% for NFL), which makes the NFL’s success even more impressive. According to The Unofficial 2014 NFL Player Census of the two teams in the Superbowl there are only 2 players that self-identify as Hispanic, and neither Boston (10%) nor Seattle (7%) represent the cities or states that have the highest Hispanic population according to PewResearch. It will be interesting to see if the increasing viewership trend continues.
Whether or not the trend continues, the NFL has shown that they are a league that is inclusive and understands the importance of the Hispanic market in the United States. For that they will likely continue to be rewarded.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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