Amy Roberts and Ann Hoevel, (CNN) — For the past decade, millions of Americans have passed on the biggest football game of the year to watch something way cuter. By now it’s an established fact: Television doesn’t get much more adorable than puppies.
“Puppy Bowl,” Animal Planet’s alternative programming to the NFL’s Super Bowl, is the sublime result of pairing a bunch of wiggly puppies — 66, in fact — with squeaky toys and a mini-stadium set. Add a “rufferee” and a kitty-filled halftime, and every floppy tackle or slobbered-on football inspires an unintelligible burst of baby talk and giggles. That’s the power of puppies!
Ahead of this year’s most big game, we take a look at the Puppy Bowl, by the numbers.
10 — Number of Puppy Bowls on Animal Planet, including this year. “Puppy Bowl X” premieres at 3 p.m. ET and PT February 2.
2 hours — Official length of each year’s “Puppy Bowl.”
6 — Times it’s replayed on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s not really a 12-hour show!
12.4 million — Total number of Puppy Bowl IX viewers in 2013.
2.6 million — Average number of viewers during “Puppy Bowl IX” in 2013.
1.1 million — Average number of viewers during the blackout of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
5.58 million — Viewers who watched “Puppy Bowl I” on February 6, 2005.
36 — Puppies in Puppy Bowl X’s starting lineup.
12-18 weeks — Age range of the puppies in the starting lineup.
37 — Adoption agencies and shelters that provided the puppy players.
12-15 — Number of puppies on the “field” at a time.
19 x 10 feet — Area of the Geico Puppy Bowl stadium.
30 — Percent increase in ad revenue so far this year over last year’s Puppy Bowl.
3 — Guinea pigs watching from the “blimp.”
30 — Kittens performing a “domino topple” during the halftime show.
More than 34 million — Views on YouTube of the “Original Keyboard Cat” that was first posted in 2007. A new version will be performing during Puppy Bowl X.
Almost 26,000 — Meep the Bird’s Twitter followers. As the social media correspondent for the Puppy Bowl, Meep will send out tweets during the game. Get it?!!
Almost 300,000 — Tweets mentioning the Puppy Bowl IX Twitter users sent during its two-hour premiere in 2013.
49 — Animal Planet crew members on the job during this year’s bowl.
103 — Total number of hours of footage shot for Puppy Bowl X.
1995 — The year Dan FitzSimons created “The Puppy Channel,” 24 hours of puppies. It has since moved online, at ThePuppyChannel.com.
Be honest: Will you be watching the Super Bowl…or Puppy Bowl?