Post-Game Super Bowl Scores

More than 1 million unique visitors logged on to on Super Bowl Sunday, representing a 266 percent increase in traffic from the Saturday before, according to measurements from Nielsen//NetRatings.

Daily Overnight Traffic to on Super Bowl Sunday
Year Teams Unique Audience
2003 Oakland vs. Tampa Bay 1.028 million
2002 New England vs. St. Louis 904,000
2001 Baltimore vs. New York 359,000
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

“As the official site for the event, was the online source for all the game-day activity, with traffic nearly tripling in size overnight,” said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.

Furthermore, Nielsen Media Research reported that the ABC broadcast of the championship game was the highest rated Super Bowl since 1999, with 43.4 million households tuning in.

Some of those households could have been fans of commercials, rather than game fans. Research from Knowledge Networks indicates that 20 percent of Super Bowl viewers (ages 18-49) thought the ads were more interesting than the game – that’s a 7 percent increase over last year’s interest in the commercials. Additionally, 50 percent of the 2002 respondents said that the Super Bowl game was more interesting than the ads shown during the game, compared to 35 percent in 2003.

More Interesting: Game or ads?
2002 2003
Game was more interesting than ads 50% 35%
Ads were more interesting than game 13% 20%
Game and ads equally interesting 37% 44%
Bases 510 436
Source: Knowledge Networks/SRI

Similarly, the Feedback Research division of
The Gator Corporation found in an online survey of 800 users who viewed that 61 percent of Super Bowl Internet users liked the ads as much as the game, and 20 percent stated they liked the TV ads more than the game. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of Super Bowl Internet users used the Internet during the game.

Attitudes toward Super Bowl advertisers
2002 2003
People notice which companies
sponsor the Super Bowl
87% 86%
Super Bowl sponsors have a
commitment to quality and excellence
74% 70%
Super Bowl sponsors are industry leaders 83% 85%
People pay more attention to commercials
during the Super Bowl than to those shown
during other special events.
89% 90%
Bases 510 436
To be read: 86 percent of 2003 Super Bowl viewers (ages 18 to 49) agreed
“strongly” or “somewhat” with the statement “People notice which companies
sponsor the Super Bowl on TV.”
Source: Knowledge Networks/SRI

According to
Keynote Systems, several Super Bowl advertisers fumbled the opportunity to handle the traffic the commercials drove to their sites. Keynote’s Internet performance monitoring noted the following issues:

  • Cadillac’s Web site,, experienced significant problems around halftime. Availability dropped from a pre-game 100 percent to as low as 83 percent and response time tripled to more than 6 seconds for those users who were able to get through.
  • Just as the game was beginning, the Web site for the upcoming movie The HULK ( collapsed. Between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Eastern), the site’s response time averaged more than 20 seconds. The site’s availability dropped below 90 percent at one point and averaged less than 95 percent. Prior to Super Bowl day, the site averaged around 2.5 seconds in response time and had availability of around 99 percent.
  • The Philip Morris Web site ( had availability of only 97 percent during the game, coinciding with the renaming of the company to Altria Group. During this switchover, the site had availability drop to as low as 37 percent for a half-hour period. After the switchover, the site’s average response time went from 3 or 4 seconds to less than 1 second.
  • Advertisers’ Web sites that scored touchdowns, maintaining 100 percent availability during the Super Bowl were: FedEx (, Levi Strauss (, McDonalds (, Sony (, and Sony Pictures (

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