Super Bowl Bests Its Own Viewing Record


Another TV record for this year's Super Bowl, which gave the Green Bay Packers the championship title. The game registered 5% higher viewing to a Nielsen preliminary average of 111 million viewers.

This number beat last year's "Super Bowl XLIV," which pulled in 106.5 million for a New Orleans Saints victory over the Indianapolis Colts. That eclipsed the record held by the series finale of "M.A.S.H" as the most-watched TV program in history, which had 105.9 million.

This is the fourth straight year that TV's highest-rated annual sports program has bested its record, and the sixth straight year the big game grew in viewership overall.

In terms of household ratings, however, eight Super Bowls have better ratings and share scores. This year's results tied 1996's "Super Bowl XXX" featuring the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning a 46.0 household rating/69 share. These were the best results since 1986's "Super Bowl XX," which earned a 48.3/70, when the Chicago Bears routed the New England Patriots.



Since 2005, the game has grown 30% to 111 million viewers from 86.1 million.

Fox's post-game show "Glee" also grabbed big numbers -- 26.8 million viewers and a 11.1 household rating among 18-49 viewers, easily its best number for the series ever.

But the household numbers for "Glee" were 25% below that of last year's "Undercover Boss" aired by CBS. Still, "Glee" did better than "The Office" for NBC in 2009, when the show took in an 11.0 adults 18-49 rating and 22.9 million viewers.

Super Bowl XLV also set a new mark for total viewership of any program in U.S. history. Unlike "average viewers," "total viewers" are those persons ages 2 or older watching all or part of the game. That number this year was 162.9 million people watching, up 9.5 million from the record set a year ago -- 153.4 million.

Fox says "The Super Bowl XLV Pre-Game Show" gained 16% in household numbers to an 11.5 rating/23 share and 22.2 million average viewers. But the "Super Bowl XLV Post Game Show" was down 14% to 28.4/46 and 66 million viewers from a year ago.

Fox says the half-time show featuring the Black Eyed Peas posted a 44.7/68, 3% lower than the average ratings for the entire game. This was a bit lower than results from last year's half-time show, which featured The Who and lost 4% of its overall game audience.

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