Pornhub Traffic During Super Bowl 50

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Pornhub Insights has shown many times before how televised sports events can greatly affect traffic to our site. Take for example our coverage of the NBA, NHL and World Cup.  In 2015 we also found that Super Bowl 49 had caused a major traffic fluctuation during the game, so our friends at the New York Daily News were curious to see if the same held true one year later.  On Sunday February 7, 2016 the Carolina Panthers met the Denver Broncos at Levi Stadium in San Francisco Bay Area to determine who would be the National Football League Champion. In the end, the Broncos came out ahead 24 to 10.

With the game set to start at 6:30pm Eastern Time, U.S. traffic was up slightly in the early afternoon, but began to taper off around 5pm.  By 6pm it was down 27% below normal Sunday levels, reaching a low point of 31% at 6pm.  After the game ended at 10:15pm traffic recovered quickly and went 12% above daily norms around midnight.

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Fans in Canada also tuned in, but only caused a 15% dip in Pornhub Traffic compared to an average Canadian Sunday. Worldwide, if we exclude U.S. traffic, there was a 7% dip but only near the beginning of the game.

To see which fans were more likely to give up porn time for play time, we tracked traffic for the three cities and states most involved – fans in Denver, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina plus hosting city San Francisco, California.

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Colorado state dropped an incredible 55% at 7pm, with North Carolina not far behind at 47%.  Californians also took interest in the game with a low of 31% around the same time.  Although many people tune in just for the half-time show, many others take a brief Pornhub break mid-game, as we see a nearly 10% increase during this time.

Perhaps predicting defeat Panther fans in North Carolina began their return to Pornhub about an hour earlier than Colorado at 9pm.  From 11pm to 12am, traffic was up nearly 10% above normal Sunday levels in North Carolina, as more fans there looked to Pornhub to feel better about the game outcome. Colorado traffic stayed lower for longer, likely because football fan there were too busy celebrating.  The cities followed the traffic changes of their respective states quite closely, only off by a few percent.

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Although we recorded some level of change across the entire United States, some states did have a greater change than others.  From the heat map below we can see that it was North Carolina and Colorado that did indeed have the biggest change.

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The next chart illustrates the traffic effect based on gender across the United States.  Although both genders have a similar drop as the game begins, it would seem that proportionately men are more willing to give up porn in favor of football.  The traffic drop for women reached a low of 23% and stayed relatively flat until the game ended.  After that, traffic from women returned to normal levels, but more men visited Pornhub than would be usual.

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Age groups as well showed some slight variations. People 25-34 were the most likely to stayed tuned-in to the half time show, as we did not see the slight increase at that time that we registered in all other age groups.  People over 65 years old were more likely to visit Pornhub during half time, and had the biggest increase above normal daily levels after midnight.

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Just for fun, we took a look to see what searches increased on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the previous Sunday.  Searches for “Super Bowl” increased an incredible 4842% and the second highest increase was “Ben Affleck”, likely due to his appearance in a Turkish Airlines commercial.  Many different searches containing “Beyonce” increased due to her performance during half time, as well as “Lady Gaga” who sang the national anthem.  Most other searches had to do with either “football” and “cheerleaders” or other related terms such as “blitz” and “locker room”.

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Thanks for tuning in to this edition of Pornhub Insights. What sport are you willing to give up Pornhub time for? Let us know in the comments!

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