Reports are flooding the internet this morning that last night's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams was one of the least watched in the modern era.

Austin Karp, the Managing Editor of Sports Business Daily is reporting was the lowest in 10 years:

Though many have tried to blame poor NFL ratings over the past few years to on-field events, the main culprit has been streaming services, NFL's Sunday Ticket, and online viewing from networks (none of those count in the ratings). However the Super Bowl hasn't seen the same negative impact. Here are the last 5 Super Bowl returns:

Three consecutive years, between 2015 and 2017, remained relativity flat, while last year's game did have a noticeable dip. But this year's drop off is is a serious hit. It should also be noted that unlike the previous 5-10 years, Los Angeles didn't have a team in the game. Being the second largest media market in the country, they should have seen a heavy increase.

Of the factors that may have contributed, the most notable is the NFL officiating that led to the match up between the Rams and Patriots. Multiple missed calls, on a single play, in the NFC Championship game stopped the New Orleans Saints from claiming their spot in the Super Bowl. The egregious error was brought up non-stop in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, including a federal lawsuit against the league. The Kansas City Chiefs also experienced questionable calls from officials in the AFC Championship game against the Patriots. All of the questionable officiating left the game in a weakened state.

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