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Super Bowl Ratings Fall to a 10-Year Low

Game between the Patriots and the Rams didn't score in viewership numbers — and protests in New Orleans may have had something to do with it

Super Bowl LIII may have been a historic game for the New England Patriots, but it was not exactly a winner in television ratings — at least when compared to past Super Bowls.

Sunday night’s big game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams scored a 44.9 rating from early viewership numbers. That’s down roughly five percent from last year’s game between the Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The final numbers for the game last year were 103.4 million viewers, which was a nine-year low for the Super Bowl.

This year’s Super Bowl’s 44.9 rating is the lowest since 2009’s 42.1 rating.

Still, 100 million viewers is nothing to scoff at — and ad time during this year’s Super Bowl carried a price tag of around $5 million.

The number of ways in which to watch the Super Bowl also have grown.

Aside from viewing the game through traditional cable, fans could now choose to subscribe to the CBS streaming service online and watch the channel’s coverage of the event live.

This year was CBS’ first time airing the Super Bowl since 2013.

Another reason for the decline in ratings could be the massive protests in the city of New Orleans.

Thousands reportedly took to the streets to protest the sporting event and the game scored a 26.1 rating in the city, which is one of the lowest ever for the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

The boycotts and protests stemmed from the controversy during a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago.

The Saints wound up on the wrong end of two controversial calls that cost them the game.

Some petitioned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to reverse the decisions — but that never happened. So the Saints were denied a chance at participating in the Super Bowl.

For more on the Super Bowl, check out the video below: