Second Screen Viewing for Major Events: The Super Bowl

Thomas Donnelly
Staff Writer

Over the course of nearly two decades, the impact of social media and new forms of media consumption and streaming have been apparent in our everyday lives, from consumer trends to discourse about pop culture. The same applies to sports and the culture that surrounds them, as fans, athletes, and everybody in between engage online about big games, trades, and so on.

TV seems as if it will always remain atop the food chain, though as the NFL, amongst other sports leagues, move to streaming platforms, younger fans are finding alternatives to how they watch and engage with sports games. Per the most recent poll from the Seton Hall Sports Poll, 52 percent of participants will be watching only on their TV compared to 47 percent in 2023 and 46 percent in 2022. While we may feel social media and other forms of media consumption are dominating, numbers support TV as the main choice.

Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Nate Taylor/The Athletic).

As aforementioned, social media has become increasingly integral to keeping up with trends and what’s new. Overall, participants revealed they are more likely not to engage on social media during the Super Bowl. 46 percent of participants voted they would not follow along on platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), which merely edges out the 45 percent that marked they will follow.

A study done by @XData on X revealed there were nearly seven million posts, 238 million video views, and nearly three billion impressions on its platform, which is more than double what each category drew last year. Amongst recent controversies and brand safety concerns, the platform has performed well through the biggest domestic sporting event as no other platform has come out and matched its presence.

The coveted commercials are what induce the most conversation on social media during the Super Bowl, with 73% of participants agreeing they pay more attention to Super Bowl Commercials. 53% of participants in the February poll additionally agree that they’re likely to discuss or comment on the best and worst commercials on social media platforms.

“Nothing matches it for scale of real-time conversation during live events – sports, especially,” co-founder of WorkInProgress ad agency Matthew Talbot noted. “It’s harder for brands to be active there because it’s uncertain and riskier.”

Emerging platforms such as Threads were believed to have the possibility to overtake X as the leading platform, though it seems we all must wait and see if an alternative can thrive as much as X has during the likes of the Super Bowl, the Grammys, and other major events.

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