Ori Goshen
Ori Goshen

February 8, 2013

3 Ways The Super Bowl Affected Peoples Phone Use

Super Bowl XLVII is in the books and this year’s game had it all; Brotherly rivalries, sexually awkward commercials and even a power outage that stopped the game for more than 30 minutes. 

After it was all said and done, and the fat lady had sung, we took some time to sift through the mountains of data we compiled during the hours preceding the game until a few hours after the final whistle blew.

We wanted to know if Super Bowl, which is one of the most highly watched events in the entire world, had a significant impact on the way people used their mobile phones.

1. Phone Call Frequency 

We first looked at the amount of phone calls that were made per minute from the hours of 4 PM until 1 AM (EST). We found that in the few minutes before kickoff there was a huge spike in phone calls compared to a regular Sunday. However, when it came to game-time there was a massive drop in calls that lasted throughout the game.

We saw a 55% drop in the amount of phone calls made after 6 PM, right when the pre-game coverage began! 

It turns out that fans took those last few minutes before kick off to make just a few more phone calls; maybe they wanted to place a last minute bet or just get in a little more trash talk before they put down the phone and picked up a chicken wing. 

I mean, who wants to make a phone call when your hands are all full of BBQ sauce?

2. The Blackout

Unless you live in a cave, you most likely heard about the power outage that occurred in the third quarter.

The blackout occurred around 8:30 PM, as you can see in the chart below that is exactly around the same time we saw a large spike in the duration of phone calls that were being made. 

It seems that, whereas during the rest of the game phone calls were generally short, once the blackout occurred people decided it was time to get out all that pent up football talk. 

You can see that the divergence from the “normal” talk time begins right around the time the lights went out and it continues until the game ends.  

According to the insights we were able to pull from our database, the increase in talk time between the prior Sunday and Game Day in the hours in question was a whopping 22%! 

3. The Fourth Quarter

It turns out that the Super Bowl ended up being a real nail biter this year. After the power outage in the third quarter the 49ers began a steady comeback that lasted throughout the fourth quarter.

We found that the high paced action of the fourth quarter attributed to the significant increase in the amount of time people allowed their  phones to ring prior to answering in this period of time.

According to our data, there was a 34% increase in the time people let their phones ring, compared to the previous Sunday. Apparently, people were very reluctant to peel themselves away from the TV. 

So, as it turns out, big events such as the Super Bowl do have a significant impact on the way people use their mobile phones!

*Data collected from 50,000 phone calls made in the United States during the hours of 4 PM Sunday February 3rd until 1 AM February 4th 2013(EST).

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