U.S. Preps for Super Bowl

More than 179.1 million people will watch the Super Bowl Feb. 3, according to a new survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation.

Game watchers will spend an average of $68.54 on new televisions, snacks, décor and athletic apparel, up from $63.87 last year. Total Super Bowl spending is expected to reach nearly $12.3 billion this year. Seventeen million fans will buy team apparel or accessories to support their team, up from 14.8 million last year.

For advertisers, Super Bowl commercials have become a prime way to increase awareness of a brand or service with an unusually captive audience. More than three-quarters of viewers (76.6 percent) say they see the commercials as entertainment, and when asked what they thought was the most important part of the Super Bowl, 26.2 percent said the commercials.