Cord Cutting Can Wait – 98 Percent Watched Super Bowl on TV; Public Says Brady ‘Best Ever’

South Orange, NJ, February 9, 2017 – An era of cord-cutting may loom in the future, but for now, traditional television viewing of the Super Bowl has a firm grasp on the American public. According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week in the days after the game, a whopping 98% watched on TV, with only a combined 1% – barely – watching on phone, tablet or computer.

The poll was conducted February 6-8 among 661 adults across the country on both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of 3.9 %.

“It’s the biggest event of the year in America, and people want to watch it on their biggest and most reliable device,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

Meanwhile, asked if Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, 63% of those who identified as sports fans agreed with only 19% disagreeing. Of those who said they were NFL fans, 51% agreed, and 21% disagreed. Among the general population, 39% agreed, with only 21% disagreeing.

“These are remarkably high numbers, given the controversies surrounding him – a large dislike for the New England Patriots, his suspension over ‘deflategate’ and his support of a controversial President,” said Gentile.

In the excitement following the first overtime in Super Bowl history and the fifth Super Bowl win for the Patriots, 44% found the game the most compelling of recent championships, with Game 7 of the World Series registering 26% and the college football championship (Alabama-Clemson) at 11%.

“For the World Series to be named by one out of four Americans, three months after it ended and in the days after a thrilling Super Bowl is great news for baseball,” added Gentile.

Asked if they saw any commercials during the game that made them want to purchase the advertised product, 83% said no, and 12% yes.

“People generally don’t acknowledge that commercials influence their buying,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.  “Of course, their purchasing habits show the opposite – advertising drives sales. And 12% of the viewing public is a very large number. Advertisers should be pleased.”

7% said they enjoyed the commercials the most, but 13% named the halftime show and 72% said “the game” when asked what they enjoyed the most.

A commercial for GNC, the vitamin chain which sells substances banned by the NFL, was not shown. Asked whether GNC should have been allowed to advertise in the game, given that the banned products were not mentioned, 50% said yes they should have been allowed, with 23% saying no.

10% acknowledged wagering on the game (either through a bet, a pool or a fantasy league) and 84% said they had no wager on the game. 15% said they would have bet if wagering was legal.

A podcast in which Seth Everett interview Rick Gentile can be heard at



One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone February 6-8 among 661 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Marty Appel Public Relations,;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall University,


The results:

  1. Did you watch the Super Bowl game on Sunday?
  2. Yes 72%
  3. No 28



  1. Where did you watch the game? (Don’t read options)
  2. At home 75
  3. At a friend’s house 17
  4. In a bar or restaurant 5
  5. Somewhere else  3


  1. What was the primary device you used to watch the game, a TV, phone, tablet or computer?
  2. TV 98
  3. Phone 0
  4. Tablet 0
  5. Computer 1
  6. Other 1


  1. Which did you enjoy more, the game, the halftime or the commercials?
  2. Game 72
  3. Halftime 13
  4. Commercials 7
  5. Don’t Know 7


  1. Did you see any commercials during the broadcast that made you want to purchase the product advertised?
  2. Yes 12
  3. No 83
  4. Don’t know 5


  1. Did you place a bet on the outcome of the game, participate in a pool, engage in fantasy play or not wager any money on the game?
  2. Bet  5
  3. Pool 4
  4. Fantasy 1
  5. No Wager 84
  6. Don’t Know/No Ans. 7


  1. If sports gambling was legal in your state would you have placed a bet on the game?
  2. Yes 15
  3. No 79
  4. Don’t know 6


  1. Tom Brady is being called the greatest quarterback in NFL history after winning his 5th Super

Bowl. Do you agree, disagree or are you not sure?

  1. Agree 39
  2. Disagree 21
  3. Not Sure 35
  4. Don’t Know 5







  1. GNC, a maker of dietary supplements, was forced by the NFL to withdraw its commercial from the Super Bowl because it makes some products that NFL players are banned from taking. No mention of the banned products occurred in the commercial. Do you think GNC should have been allowed to advertise in the game given that the banned products were not mentioned?
  2. Yes 50
  3. No 23
  4. Don’t know 27


  1. Which event did you think was more compelling, the Super Bowl, the college football championship or the 7th game of the World Series?
  2. Super Bowl 44
  3. College championships 11
  4. World Series 26
  5. Don’t Know 19


  1. How closely would you say you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?
  2. Very closely 19
  3. Closely 33
  4. Not closely 33
  5. Not at all 16


  1. Do you consider yourself a fan of NFL football?
  2. Yes 56
  3. No 40
  4. Don’t know 5



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