Back in the day, long before online video become such a staggeringly popular medium to consume news, sports and entertainment brands had one outlet for Super Bowl content: the TV. Now of course, brands can not only distribute those commercials online, but they can also upload as much Super Bowl content as they are willing to create to maximize their $5M per 30-second spot spend.
While brands have adjusted the social media formula to create extra content around their product or service, the door has also been thrown wide open for publishers and influencers to maximize opportunities to create content around the tentpole event. For example, media and entertainment companies generated huge views from a range of content around the Big Game and the run-up to it on Facebook in January 2019. We’ve already confirmed that on Facebook, Super Bowl food-focused videos generated 10.1M views last month, 6.2M of which were claimed by media companies. That already gives you a clue as to the blossoming side industry for non-sports related Super Bowl content. Some quick highlights of our findings from Super Bowl views on Facebook include:
- On Facebook, media publishers generated 65% of total views around the Super Bowl in January 2019.
- Of the 80.9M Super Bowl views generated by media and sports media publishers, 18.8M views were for videos between 2 and 5 mins.
- 5.5M views were generated for content that lasted over 20 mins.
- The NFL was the top sports media publisher for Super Bowl content on Facebook last month.
Media Companies Earned 65% of Super Bowl Views
In January 2019, 118M views of Super Bowl content was generated on YouTube, and 123M views were generated on Facebook. On YouTube, brand uploads accounted for 57% of views, with just 12% generated by media companies, but the story is different on Facebook. There, media companies’ views accounted for 65% of the 123M generated! Super Bowl uploads from media companies also generated twice the engagement rate of brand uploads.
We can confirm that Barstool Sports, the NFL, and Delish were three of top media and sports media companies generating significant video views around Super Bowl content:
- Barstool Sports (7.1M views)
- NFL (6.8M)
- Delish (4.3M)
- ESPN (4.1M)
- New England Patriots (2.9M)
- The Herd (1.9M)
- Skip and Shannon: Undisputed (1.8M)
- SportsCenter (1.8M)
- NowThis Weed (1.5M)
- FOX Sports (1.5M)
So which Super Bowl videos from media publishers were the most-watched on Facebook in January 2019? Let’s take a look:
- Tom Brady preparing for the 2047 Super Bowl – Barstool Sports (3.7M views)
- How To Make Sheet Pan Quesadillas – Delish (1.7M)
- Eagles fan hits wall – ESPN (1.6M)
- Every other fan seeing the Patriots go to the Super Bowl for the 3rd straight year – Barstool Sports (1.5M)
- CBS Rejected Acreage Holdings’ Cannabis PSA to Air During Super Bowl – NowThis Weed (1.5M)
Barstool Sports scored two out of the top five most-watched Super Bowl videos uploaded by media publishers in January 2019. With 2.7M followers on the platform, the publisher generated 272M views last month, with its poke at Tom Brady coming in at the 9th most-viewed in January.
Group Nine Media property NowThis Weed generated 1.5M views when they ran with a story about CBS rejecting Acreage Holdings’ bid to air their to their pro-Cannabis PSA during Super Bowl LIII. While medical marijuana is legal in 33 states in the US, recreational use is only permitted in 10, so the 30-second commercial was always going to be a risk for the legacy broadcaster to air. Ultimately, they chose to decline, stating that ad was “not consistent with the network’s advertising policies.” While the ad may not air, Acreage Holdings garnered a great deal of on and off-line publicity from the CBS decision. NowThis Weed were one of a number of digital-first news outlets to run with the story on Facebook, but the only one to generate so many views for it: