Skip to main content

Puppies Top Kittens in Cuteness Contests on Super Bowl Sunday

While most of the focus Sunday was on Seahawks and Broncos, puppies and kittens also fared well with the Nielsens.

Animal Planet scored big time with Puppy Bowl X, while Hallmark’s inaugural Kitten Bowl figured favorably among feline fanatics.

The premiere of this year’s pooch affair averaged 3.3 million viewers from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET/PT), up 24% from Puppy Bowl IX, according to Nielsen live same-day data. The telecast stood as cable’s best of the day among viewers, household rating (a 2.1) and women 18 to 49 (754,000 of those watchers).

For the second year in a row, the Puppy Bowl premiere pushed Animal Planet to tops in the timeslot among all cable channels and behind only Super Bowl XLVIII broadcaster Fox in all of TV across major key demos, including persons 18 to 49 (1.3 million), persons 25 to 54 (1.2 million) and the aforementioned women’s group.

All told, Puppy Bowl X attracted 13.5 million unique viewers for its 12-hour marathon – its largest audience ever.

On Hallmark Channel, the rookie run of the Kitten Bowl from noon to 3 p.m. averaged 1.04 million watchers on live + same-day basis and 3.2 million unduplicated watchers during that window. The debut and its three encores reached 6.1 million viewers, according to network officials.

The program, part of the network’s advocacy campaign "Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project," outperformed the corresponding year-ago time period across key demographics, including 41% among households, 39% versus adults 25 to 54, and 14% against women 25 to 54.

For comparison sake, Super Bowl XLVIII, despite Seattle’s 43-8 demolition of Denver, scored a U.S. TV record audience of 111.5 million viewers, a total that climbed to 112.2 million on a final live + same-day basis, according to Nielsen.