Nielsen preliminary results are on par with the 40-plus-rating-point scoring game of a few years ago. But this was 6% below last year's record-breaking 44.7 rating/67 share game featuring the New York Giants' victory over the New England Patriots. Last year's game had a final tally of 97.4 million viewers.
NBC notes that over the last 20 years, the average overnight rating for the Super Bowl has been a 42.5, with the low a 39.4 for Super Bowl XXIV.
Over the weekend, NBC released ad information noting that the game did get one record result--from advertising sales, which grabbed $206 million in ad dollars from the game, and $261 million when adding in pre- and post-game advertising revenue.
As far as the post-Super Bowl program goes, NBC's "The Office" grabbed 25 million viewers, according to preliminary estimates. Last year, Fox's special edition of "House" had 29.0 million viewers.
In recent years, CBS' "Criminal Minds" had 26 million viewers in 2007. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" had 37 million in 2006, and Fox's "The Simpsons" in 2005 had 23 million. The record for the best post-Super Bowl program in term of overall viewers goes to NBC's "Friends" in 1996, at 52.9 million.