NEW YORK: Nearly half (47%) of Americans say they like to tune in to the NFL Super Bowl because they want to watch the ads, while most (78%) say it's the sporting event "with the best ads", a new survey has shown.

According to Horizon Media's latest Finger on the Pulse survey of 3,000 US adults, another 84% say the Super Bowl is the professional sporting championship that advertisers should be part of "in order to be relevant".

The media services agency released its findings a couple of days before Sunday night's clash between the Seattle Seahawks and the victorious New England Patriots.

While brand advertisers will be pouring over the post-match data and there will be debate about which were the best and worst Super Bowl ads of 2015, the survey provides useful insights in the run-up to the big game.

It found that more than half (58%) of respondents say they watch the Super Bowl because "I'm a football fan", but 52% of women and 41% of men also say they watch for the ads.

"It's clear support for why advertisers continue to make big investments in the Super Bowl," said Kirk Olson, vp of Trendsights at Horizon Media. "On top of the enormous reach, Americans still very much believe in the event as a sports and advertising tradition."

While the proportion of those saying they planned to watch the game was down from last year - at 55% versus 63% - their likelihood to use mobile and social media had grown over the same period.

Compared to last year's findings, a full third (33%) said they would use social media while they watched the game, compared to 26% in 2014, while their intent to use smartphones and tablets rose to 27% and 14% respectively.

"Mobile and social usage is great news for advertisers who didn't invest in a 30 or 60 second spot because they can use other media channels to join the party," noted Sarah Bachman, Horizon Media's vp of mobile strategy.

Data sourced from Horizon Media; additional content by Warc