Reasons to watch the Super Bowl – By generation
February 2nd, 2024, Clifton Mark

Reasons to watch the Super Bowl – By generation

The Super Bowl isn’t just a football game. It’s the biggest television broadcast of the year, it’s an occasion for parties and merriment, for drinking and betting. It’s a musical show and, especially since T-Swift’s arrival in the Chiefs’ suites, an occasion for celebrity gawking. So, who’s going to watch Super Bowl LVIII, what will they buy for the big day, and what’s drawing drawing in different segments of the audience?

Who’s watching and where? What are they buying? 

Half of America (49%) plans on watching the big game. This doesn’t just include NFL fans, half (50%) of those who say they’re only a little bit interested in the league will watch the final. Among those who say they are not at all interested in the NFL, 4% still plan on watching and 32% are not sure.

Most Americans (71%) plan on watching from the comfort of their own homes but 16% will go visit someone else’s home, perhaps for a Super Bowl party. A significant minority of 6% will head out to a bar or other public space to enjoy the show, while 7% are undecided.

Wherever they are watching, consumers are stocking up on snacks, with 61% saying they plan to buy food and/or soft drinks for Super Bowl weekend. Alcohol sales will also get a little boost, with 19% saying they’ll buy liquor and another 28% going for beer, seltzers or ready-to-drink cocktails. Non-alcoholic or de-alcoholized beverages are on the shopping list for 7% of consumers.

Team apparel or accessories (6%) and decorations (5%) are also popular items for the occasion. With the game simultaneously broadcasting on Nickelodeon for the first time ever, 4% of Americans have also said they plan to purchase a streaming subscription for the Super Bowl.

What are people looking forward to about the Super Bowl? Hint: it's not just football

The Super Bowl is an entertainment extravaganza centred around a sporting match. From big budget ads to live music to brews with buddies, there’s something for everyone. So what are people excited about this year?

Of those who plan to watch, only 57% say they’re looking forward to the game itself. The group interested in the game skews male, with 65% of men saying they’re keen for the game compared to 48% of women. This is followed closely by those who are looking forward to the commercials (52%) and the snacks (48%).

While more men than women are interested in the game (65% vs 48%), more women are excited about the halftime show (51% vs. 31%). With Taylor Swift likely in the audience supporting her man, the pop-star appeal won’t be confined to the halftime performances. Women are more interested in the celebrity gossip aspect of the show (17% vs. 7%).

Different aspects of the show also draw in different generations. Baby boomers are most interested in the game itself, with 73% choosing this option compared to a national average of 57%. For Gen X, it’s the commercials (62% VS. 52%) and for millennials, it’s the halftime show (48% vs. 40%).

This may be because millennials were in their party years when headlining artist Usher was releasing his biggest hits. More millennials—57% of them—than any other age group hold a favorable view of Usher. This compares to a national average of 48% and only 37% of baby boomers. Baby boomers, on the other hand, are mostly likely to have never heard of him (11% vs a national average of 6%).

Methodology: YouGov polled 1000 US adults aged 18+ on January 30-31, 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, race, political affiliation, education level and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.