Math in the News: 2/2/12

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In this issue of Math in the News we look at stats from Super Bowl past.

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Math in the News: 2/2/12

  1. 1. Cost of a 30-second ad Year Viewers (millions) (dollars) 1980 76.2 222,000 1981 68.29 324,000 1982 85.24 324,000 1983 81.77 400,000 1984 77.62 368,000 1985 85.53 525,000 1986 92.57 550,000 1987 87.2 600,000 1988 80.14 645,000 1989 81.6 675,000 1990 73.85 700,000 1991 79.51 800,000 1992 79.6 850,000 1993 90.99 850,000 1994 90 900,000 1995 83.4 1,150,000 1996 94.08 1,050,000 1997 87.87 1,200,000 1998 90 1,300,000 1999 83.7 1,600,000 2000 88.5 1,100,000 2001 84.3 2,100,000 2002 86.8 1,900,000 2003 88.6 2,100,000Super Bowl StatsThis table shows the TV viewership for Super Bowls from 1980–2003, as well asthe cost of a 30-second ad for each Super Bowl. This data is best analyzedgraphically.
  2. 2. Super Bowl StatsThe viewership data (expanded to 2011) shows a somewhat steady increase, butwith plenty of ups and downs. Also, viewership only recently passed the 100 millionmark.
  3. 3. Super Bowl StatsOn the other hand, the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad has shown a steady andstrong increase over the years. Last year it cost $3 million dollars for a 30-secondad!
  4. 4. Super Bowl Stats Is there arelationship between TV viewership and the cost of a 30 second ad?
  5. 5. Super Bowl StatsSurprisingly, there is not a strong correlation between viewership and the price ofan ad. Recall that the viewership stats were uneven, while the cost-of-ad stats weresteady. This is reflected in this graph.
  6. 6. Super Bowl Stats Why does the TV viewership graphshow so many ups and downs?
  7. 7. Super Bowl StatsA Super Bowl is still, after all, a TV program and some teams are more popularthan others. Let’s look at some examples.
  8. 8. Super Bowl StatsDuring the ‘85–’86 season the Chicago Bears generated such a popular following,well beyond the already big Chicago TV market, that their Super Bowl appearanceagainst the Patriots was one of the highest-rated Super Bowls at the time.
  9. 9. Super Bowl StatsThe Dallas Cowboys are one of the most popular teams in the NFL, beyond theDallas TV market. Dallas’ appearances in Super Bowls (as shown in the ’93, ‘94,and ’96) have resulted in high TV viewership.
  10. 10. Super Bowl StatsThe Pittsburgh Steelers are also one of the most popular teams in the NFL andtheir appearance in two Super Bowls (2006 and 2009) were part of a dramatic risein TV viewership over the past seven years.
  11. 11. Super Bowl Stats Why does the costof an ad keep going up, in spite of any drops in TV viewership?
  12. 12. http://youtu.be/qIUcNLTsyYoSuper Bowl StatsSuper Bowl ads reach a huge audience, by any TV audience measure. Even a yearwith lower viewership still has tens of millions of viewers. Advertisers often createthe most memorable ads in TV history. For example, Apple Computer launched theMac using this ad in the 1984 Super Bowl, an ad that aired only once!

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