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New England roars back to win Super Bowl

By William Hennelly in New York and Reuters | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-02-06 13:48

Super Bowl LI went from an apparent drubbing to the greatest comeback in the history of the game as the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in overtime on Sunday for the team's fifth NFL championship.

Tom Brady, the Patritots' quarterback, also became the first QB to win five Super Bowls. He threw for 466 yards and was named MVP.

Lady Gaga didn't make any political statements during the halftime show at NRG Stadium in Houston, although a few commercials got political, including one of a lumber company showing a wooden wall being built that turns out to be a welcoming gate for a Mexican mother and daughter.

Fans in China had many options to watch the game starting at 7:30 am Monday Beijing time.

"We have seen strong growth of our fan base in China, and this is reflected in the growth in our viewership numbers which continue to rise," Richard Young, NFL China managing director, told China Daily on Friday.

NFL China, the league's marketing arm in the country, is pushing tie-ups with more than a dozen platforms on regular television and online to help reach viewers, even at rush hour, Young told Reuters.

"They watch (the games), they pause them. They get on and off the bus and on and off the taxi," Young said.

The NFL wants to build enthusiasm in China and other overseas markets after a season in which US television viewership dropped 8 percent, according to Nielsen data, to a weekly average audience of 16.5 million.

About 1.5 million people in China now watch live NFL matchups each week on digital platforms, Young said.

In China, seven television channels and eight digital platforms aired the Super Bowl live.

More than 12 million viewers across the Chinese mainland watched on TV and online last year. Unofficial viewing parties are often held in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Contact the writer at williamhennelly@chinadailyusa.com

New England roars back to win Super Bowl

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