Rob Tringali/SI
By Jimmy Traina
February 05, 2019

1. After a regular-season ratings resurgence, the NFL took a big hit with the viewership for Super Bowl LIII, which drew 98.2 million viewers on CBS, the lowest number in 10 years. If you add in streaming numbers, the game hit 100.7 million viewers.

Here are Super Bowl viewership numbers from the past 10 years.

2018: 103.4 million
2017: 111.3 million
2016: 111.8 million
2015: 114.4 million
2014: 112.2 million
2013: 108.6 million
2012: 111.3 million
2011: 111.0 million
2010: 106.4 million
2009: 98.7 million

So, after strong regular-season ratings, why did this happen? Four big reasons:

• Saints fans actually followed through on their boycott of watching the Rams play the Patriots after they got screwed in the NFC Championship Game. New Orleans ranked dead last in the 56 metered markets with a 26.1 rating. In 2018, that rating was a 53.0 and ranked seventh. That is a massive tune out.

• Obviously, the fact that the game was a complete snoozefest from start to finish caused many people to tune out.

• Patriots hate and Patriots fatigue is real—very real. People just don't want to watch New England win another title. 

• Streaming and cord cutting.

Based on these reasons, the NFL really doesn't have a big problem on its hand. If no one gets jobbed by the refs in the conference title game and if a squad in the AFC can dethrone the Patriots and the two Super Bowl teams can generate more than 16 points, the ratings will bounce back next season. 

Unfortunately for the NFL and CBS, they just got hit by the perfect storm of events to cause a big ratings dip this season.

2. This is the defintion of bad, forced radio that's planned out to get attention in hopes that schmucks like me post it. Not only that, but the take—that you can't complain about a sporting event—is awful.

3. The man who broke the story about ESPN firing Baseball Tonight host Adnan Virk, New York Post sports media reporter Andrew Marchand, joined the latest SI Media Podcast to give all the details on the wild story. Marchand explains how ESPN found out about Virk reportedly leaking information to Awful Announcing and why they decided to fire him instead of suspend him. 

You can listen to the podcat below or download it on iTunes. 

4. Here is the 2018 edition of NFL Bad Lip Reading.

5. This will not help the narrative that people in L.A. don't care about football. Jimmy Kimmel Live asked people in L.A. for their reaction to the Rams' Super Bowl win.

6. This is a great story about how sportsbooks got inside information on Gladys Knight's national anthem time.

7. THE ROCK VIDEO OF THE DAY: Now that football is over and things in sports will be kind of slow for a few weeks, I'm bringing back the Rock Video of the Day for the week. Here's an old-school promo that wouldn't even come close to getting on the air today.

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here. And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

IN CLOSING: Looking forward to seeing what Gronk has in store for us Tuesday since this could be his last Super Bowl parade ever.

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