Super Bowl Viewers Claim Home-Field Advantage

Nine out of 10 Super Bowl viewers say they will watch the game at home with family and/or friends, or at someone else’s home with a similar group of viewing companions, according to Nielsen. The research company said the finding is based on a survey of 28,000 households in its consumer panels.

The remaining 10 percent indicated they would watch from an out-of-home venue, such as a restaurant or bar. Nielsen said it did not have comparative data for the 2009 telecast.

But data collected from Arbitron’s Portable People Meter service just a few weeks ago showed sharply higher out-of-home audiences for this year’s divisional playoff contests. The Arbitron figures showed that nearly one-quarter of the total 18+ audience for CBS’ presentation of the NFL AFC divisional playoffs watched the games outside their homes.

On Jan. 16, 20.3 percent of viewers 18 and older who tuned in for CBS’ coverage of the Ravens-Colts duel took in the broadcast from a bar, restaurant, hotel or other non-residential venue, according to new figures released by Arbitron. The following day, away-from-home viewing accounted for 27.2 percent of CBS’ Jets-Chargers deliveries.

Taken together, away-from-home viewers 18+ made up 23.8 percent of CBS’ two-game average.

Separately, the vast majority of those panelists surveyed by Nielsen said they wouldn’t be splurging more on food and drink at their Super Bowl parties this year. Only 5 percent said they would spend more.

Snack food and beer vendors will do very well in the week leading up to game day: Nielsen reports that viewers are expected to consume 166 million pounds of primarily salty snacks, led by about 83 million pounds of chips.

Private label snack food distributors are gaining ground. Last year the private labels garnered an 8.1 percent dollar share of the sale of snacks sold in the two weeks surrounding game day, up from a 6.8 share for the 2007 contest.

Beer sales will also spike during the weeks surrounding the game, averaging more than 49 million cases, making it the seventh most popular “beer holiday,” behind July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween.