February 4, 2014 in Sports

Seahawks most bet, most watched

Associated Press
 

Sports fans bet a record $119.4 million at Nevada casinos on the Super Bowl.

Unaudited tallies showed sportsbooks made an unprecedented profit of $19.7 million on the action, the Gaming Control Board said. That’s more than the past three Super Bowl wins combined.

The Denver Broncos were a 2.5-point favorite, but the Seattle Seahawks won 43-8.

Oddsmakers said Peyton Manning fans drove the unprecedented handle, flooding Las Vegas and northern Nevada with wagers on the favored team and its veteran quarterback.

The previous record for the amount of bets placed, or the handle, was set last year, when gamblers wagered $98.9 million on the Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

The last record for casino hold, or profit, was set in 2005, when sportsbooks won $15.4 million.

Some oddsmakers said they lost out on proposition bets, including whether a safety would be the first score of the game. Casinos paid out at 8-to-1 for the safety. Fans who bet that the first score would be on a safety cashed in at 60-to-1.

Still, casinos retained an average of 16.5 percent of the millions wagered, far more than the average hold during the past decade.

The 51 points scored exceeded the over/under of 47.5.

TV viewers set record

For the fourth time in five years, the Super Bowl set a record for the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing 111.5 million viewers, even though Seattle’s 43-8 victory over the Denver wasn’t really competitive.

The ratings record is further evidence of how live events are becoming dependable and valuable properties for broadcast television at a time the audience is fragmenting and ratings for regular entertainment shows continue to fall.

The game also set standards for the most-streamed sports event online and, with 24.9 million tweets, the biggest U.S. live TV event on Twitter.

The game eclipsed the 111.3 million viewers who watched the 2012 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, according to the Nielsen company. Until last year’s game dipped slightly to 108.7 million, the Super Bowl had set ratings records for the previous three years in a row.

Broadway takes Super hit

Super Bowl week turned into mostly a super bust on Broadway.

Data from The Broadway League shows box office grosses declined $2.4 million and ticket buyers fell by more than 15,000 for the week ending Sunday, despite the influx of thousands of tourists.

The week ending Sunday brought in $16,714,694 and 183,092 in attendance, the League said. The week before, the League reported a haul of $19,122,428 for 26 shows, with 198,773 in attendance.

“Wicked” tumbled $195,674 from the previous week, and “The Lion King” lost $315,444. Both each lost more than 1,000 patrons over the week, too.

One bright spot was the Mark Rylance-led Shakespeare’s Globe productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III,” which grossed $907,000, a one-week record for the Belasco Theatre.

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