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MUNCIE, Ind. — Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. It’s normally a time when millions of Americans turn on the TV to watch the big game.

However, Ball State University Telecommunications Professor Dom Caristi predicts that less Americans will be watching the Super Bowl this year. He has many reasons to back up his prediction.

“For one, you have a team that’s in there that’s already been in there in New England,” Caristi said. “Then the Rams don’t have the following that other teams might have.”

Caristi said this is because of the Rams’ recent decision to move from St. Louis to Los Angeles, which he said is not a popular professional football market to begin with. Not to mention ex-Rams fans in St. Louis will probably not be to keen on watching the game either with the wounds still fresh from them moving to L.A.

Caristi said another reason people may not watch is because of the commercials, which are normally a draw for non-football fans.

“The numbers may be down in part because there is no need to watch the Super Bowl to watch the Super Bowl commercials,” Caristi explained. “Now you can just go online and see all the ads online before the game. So, they’ve lost a little bit of that ‘big reveal’ that they once had.”

Super Bowl commercial air time is one of, in not, the most expensive slots of air time on TV today, according to Caristi. He also said the increasing number of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu make it possible for people to spend Sunday night watching almost anything but the game. 

Last year, ratings for the Super Bowl slipped 7-percent compared to 2017 with over 103 million viewers watching the game on TV, still one of the most watched TV programs of all-time.

Kickoff between the Patriots and the Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is at 6:30 p.m. EDT this Sunday.

(PHOTO: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)