Americans Still Watching Super Bowl on Television; 19% Say Halftime Their Favorite, 12% Say Commercials; 37% ‘Bothered’ by Trump and Bloomberg Ads  

South Orange NJ, February 6, 2020  — Despite the multi-device options available to viewers, Americans still watch their Super Bowl the old fashioned way – on television.  (Of course, adding big screens and HD).

Ninety-two percent of those polled this week in a Seton Hall Sports Poll said they watched the game on television, with only eight percent opting for phones, tablets, computer or multiple screens.  And despite the increased use of those smaller choices over the last few years, the 92 percent for this year is down only six percent – from 98 percent – in 2016.

The Poll was conducted Monday-Wednesday of this week among 662 adult Americans reached on landlines and cellphones across the country.  It has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.

“With all the talk of cord-cutting, third screens, multiple screens and many other technological options, television is still the best way to aggregate eyeballs for advertisers,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “And for advertisers, it means showcasing their products on big screens, which they prefer – and continue to pay millions for.”

Super Bowl Advertising
There was news on the advertising side as well: 17 percent of respondents said they saw at least one commercial that made them want to purchase the product advertised.  This was up from 12 percent in 2016, the last time the question was asked.  Among non-white respondents, 29 percent said they saw something they might want to purchase, compared to 13 percent for whites.

Which Did You Like Best: Game, Halftime Show or the Commercials?

While the game itself was the most enjoyable part of the telecast for 65 percent of viewers, 12 percent named the commercials their favorite, up from seven percent in 2016.  Nineteen percent named the halftime show (Jennifer Lopez, Shakira) as the portion of the Super Bowl they enjoyed most— up from 13 percent in 2016 (Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars).  The 2016 Poll had the game as the most enjoyable part at 72 percent (Denver-Carolina).

(33 percent of non-whites found the halftime show the most enjoyable part of the telecast, compared to 14 percent of whites).

Jay Z and the NFL: Sincere?
Twenty-six percent of respondents were aware that Jay Z had partnered with the NFL to help promote social justice initiatives.  The reaction?  33 percent of all respondents felt it was a sincere effort by Jay Z, but only 17 percent felt it was a sincere effort by the league.

37% ‘Bothered’ by Political Ads from President Trump and Bloomberg During Super Bowl
There was a rare insertion of political advertising included in the television broadcast of the game – with ads from the Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump campaigns – and 37 percent were bothered to have them included. Forty-one percent of Democrats said they were bothered while 25 percent of Republicans said the same.  Among Independents, 43 percent of said they were bothered.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone February 3-5 among adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones.  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.Recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to Fox News and most points in between.

Media: Media: Marty Appel,;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. Did you watch the Super Bowl game on Sunday?

1 – Yes                                                                                         67

2 – No                                                                                          33


  1. What was the primary device you used to watch the game, a TV, phone, tablet or computer or did you watch on multiple screens?

1 – TV                                                                                          92

2 – Phone                                                                                      1

3 – Tablet                                                                                      0

4 – Computer                                                                               4

5 – Multiple Screens                                                                   3

6 – Don’t know

3. What did you enjoy more, the game, the halftime or the commercials?

1 – Game                                                                                    65

2 – Halftime                                                                                19

3 – Commercials                                                                        12

4 – Don’t know/No Opinion                                                      4


  1. Did you see any commercials during the broadcast that made you want to purchase the product advertised


1 – Yes                                                                                         17

2 – No                                                                                          81

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                       1


  1. President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg both paid for campaign ads to be run during the game. Did it bother you that politics was injected into the broadcast of the Super Bowl?


1 – Yes                                                                                         37

2 – No                                                                                          59

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                       4


  1. The NFL partnered with pop icon Jay Z at the start of the 2019-20 season in an attempt to amplify the league’s efforts to promote social justice initiatives. Were you aware of this partnership?

1 – Yes                                                                                         26

2 – No                                                                                          72

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                       3


  1. Do you think the partnership was a sincere effort by the NFL to promote social justice initiatives or simply a publicity stunt?

1 – Sincere effort                                                                       17

2 – Publicity stunt                                                                      57

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                     27

  1. Do you think the partnership was a sincere effort by Jay Z to promote social justice initiatives or simply a publicity stunt?

1 – Sincere effort                                                                       33

2 – Publicity stunt                                                                      39

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                     28


  1. How closely would you say you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?

1 – Very closely                                                                         17

2 – Closely                                                                                  34

3 – Not closely                                                                           29

4 – Not at all                                                                               20


  1. How do you identify yourself politically, as a Democrat, as a Republican, as an Independent or not at all?

1 – Democrat                                                                             32

2 – Republican                                                                           27

3 – Independent                                                                        27

4 – None                                                                                     12

5 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                       4



One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous 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 embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be the third most diverse national Catholic university in the nation.

During the past five years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. The University’s beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses the University’s College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

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