While a record 164.1 million people watched some Ravens win the Super Bowl, millions of other fans were watching animals of another sort in a different type of bowl. Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl embarked on its ninth installment as counter-programming to the NFL game, and this year it also took in its biggest audience ever. Animal Planet says that Puppy Bowl IX brought in more than 12.4 million unique P2+ viewers over the 12 hours that the Puppy Bowl marathon ran (the original two-hour run, then several re-airs), a record for the programming event.
During the now-infamous blackout during the Super Bowl, Animal Planet says that Puppy Bowl viewership spiked to 1.1 million P2+ viewers from 8:51-9pm ET. This marked a 54-percent increase compared to the delivery in the prior Puppy Bowl IX segment.
The premiere telecast of Puppy Bowl IX, from 3-5pm ET/PT, brought in more than 2.6 million P2+ viewers, an increase of 64 percent versus year-ago levels. The premiere also helped Animal Planet rank No. 1 in the time slot among all cable, and No. 2 in all of TV (behind CBS, which carried the Super Bowl), with W18-49 (1.4), P18-49 (1.2) and W25-54 (1.2).
The event didn’t do too shabbily in the social media sphere, either. Animal Planet reports that Puppy Bowl IX was the most-buzzed-about show in all of cable, having the most tweets on Twitter all day Sunday and coming in second overall only to the Super Bowl. The premiere telecast of Puppy Bowl alone generated nearly 300,000 tweets, and produced 10 U.S. Trending Topics throughout the day. The Puppy Bowl sideline commentator, Meep the Bird, gained about 19,000 Twitter followers.
In the digital realm, Puppy Bowl IX helped AnimalPlanet.com gain 27 percent more unique visitors versus last year, and generated more than 1.6 million video streams. Puppy Bowl IX’s Puppy Cam was the second-most-visited draw on the site.
Were you one of the 12.4 million who watched Puppy Bowl IX? If so, what did you think?
Animal Planet/Keith Barraclough