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Super Bowl gets 106.5 million viewers, most in American TV history

The Nielson Co. said today that Super Bowl XLIV was the most-watched program in American television history.

According to Nielson, 106.5 million people watched the Saints beat the Colts. That surpasses the previous record of 105.97 million viewers by the finale of M*A*S*H.

Last year’s Super Bowl, which drew 98.7 million viewers, was the most-watched Super Bowl in history, but this year that number was surpassed by nearly 8 million.

It’s a fitting end to a season in which all of the networks that show NFL games got huge ratings. And a good reminder that the players and owners need to get together and make sure they don’t do anything to spoil the game’s record-breaking popularity.

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32 Responses to “Super Bowl gets 106.5 million viewers, most in American TV history”
  1. kernel anders GMEN says: Feb 8, 2010 2:14 PM

    and next year will be the same thing….

  2. DCUMD says: Feb 8, 2010 2:17 PM

    This is great news for the NFL. Hopefully the Owners will be able to step outside of the box and look at the long-term implications of what it would cost if they locked the players out in 2011.

  3. radioboy20010 says: Feb 8, 2010 2:21 PM

    Florio,
    I fully agree with your thoughts about the NFL-Union types thinking about what’s best for the game. But do you sincerely think that is going to happen?
    I wonder if the union has considered a work stoppage in 2010? The grand plan was to have the 2010 season so the owners can stockpile cash, then lock the players out. If the players don’t show up in 2010, that goes out the window. As usual, there will be lawsuits filed, but if someone calls in sick,(for a year) what can be done?
    What is even more disgusting is the majority of football fans side with the owners…you know..those kind-hearted compassionate folks like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder.
    Maybe the game and the fans deserve each other.

  4. favre uses allens mullet as handlebars says: Feb 8, 2010 2:21 PM

    And just think thats WITHOUT all the bitter Vikings fans tuning in!

  5. kfech says: Feb 8, 2010 2:24 PM

    This is awful news. The game was fine and the teams are the reason that the ratings were so high. Unfortunately, everything surrounding the game was subpar. The pregame, the national anthem, the commericials, the halftime show…..it was all underwhelming. But as long as the ratings pour in, the networks will continue to play it safe and deliver a mediocre product.

  6. BenRapistberger says: Feb 8, 2010 2:24 PM

    Remember that sport that had a lockout a few years back? I think it was called the… NHL? What ever happened to them?

  7. The Coop says: Feb 8, 2010 2:25 PM

    WHAT?? And without the Cowboys playing?!!
    WOW!!!!!!!!!!
    (eyeroll)

  8. BleedingSilverAndBlack says: Feb 8, 2010 2:26 PM

    World wide?

  9. NightTrainNeckTie says: Feb 8, 2010 2:27 PM

    …But I thought, per Vikings fans on this site, that nobody was going to watch because Brett Favre wasn’t in the game. Well, everybody probably just tuned in for his commercial.

  10. jgreen1570 says: Feb 8, 2010 2:27 PM

    So I guess this puts to bed all the talk about Favre being the ratings driver. Looks like people were watching the Saints in the NFCCG, not Favre.

  11. LuvThatDirtyWatah says: Feb 8, 2010 2:27 PM

    … and the NFL and the NFLPA are going to throw it all away in 2011. Good luck bringing these kind of numbers back if there’s a lockout.

  12. Omega says: Feb 8, 2010 2:32 PM

    This is great news for the NFL. Hopefully the Players will be able to step outside of the box and look at the long-term implications of what it would cost if they initiate a strike in 2011.

  13. mjohnson5 says: Feb 8, 2010 2:32 PM

    I bet the ratings are higher because of the massive blizzard on the east coast. Less people going to Super Bowl parties and just watching at home.

  14. Not a member? says: Feb 8, 2010 2:32 PM

    Setting a record with 2 small market teams.
    New Orleans Saints are World Champions!
    Who Dat!

  15. nittanylion0 says: Feb 8, 2010 2:35 PM

    on the flip side, why don’t we spend this “first day without football” trying to figure out what matchup in next year’s Super Bowl would cause the largest percentage ratings tumble in history…
    i say Jaguars/Panthers

  16. this class sucks says: Feb 8, 2010 2:35 PM

    Dana White – What ever more people will watch UFC 110!

  17. GoBrowns19 says: Feb 8, 2010 2:36 PM

    Ugh, this only makes it more astounding that they are threatening us with a lockout. ‘Hey fans, thanks for the record breaking patronage all season. Unfortunately, we need to cancel the season after this one because we’re not making enough money. We realize that what we’re making already puts us on the top 1% of global income, but we want more. Thanks again and we’ll see you in 2012…maybe!”

  18. superbowl says: Feb 8, 2010 2:36 PM

    well deserved by the NFL.
    They caught a perfect storm in several ways:
    1. Is Manning the best ever debate
    2. Large East Coast US storm
    3. Human interest story of N.O. Saints
    the great highlight here should be:
    TWO small market and small(er) fan base teams have carried the game to the highest rating EVER. Interesting to note that teams like the Giants, Packers, Cowboys, Steelers, Bears (large fan bases or larger cities), Ravens… etc.. do NOT have to be involved in the game to get GREAT ratings.
    NFL fans want a good game with a great storyline (gets the below average viewer to watch) and the NFL delivered

  19. DJSlyBri says: Feb 8, 2010 2:37 PM

    Wow. The NFL could have never gotten those ratings without the Dallas Cowboys being in the game.

  20. JoeyJoeJoeJr.Shabadoooo says: Feb 8, 2010 2:39 PM

    great. let’s talk about it more.

  21. WDNation says: Feb 8, 2010 2:59 PM

    It’s a much bigger deal when you consider that back in the MASH days, most folks only had three channels to choose from. Now, most everyone has a couple of hundred. Just goes to show you how many folks associated themselves with the Who Dat Nation (remember, the Colts were here before and didn’t break the viewing record).

  22. Ilovefoolsball says: Feb 8, 2010 3:02 PM

    JoeyJoeJoe I love reading your bitter loser comments. Must be a Favre or cowboy or Indy fan! Keep em comin!
    This DOES prove that small market teams can be intriguing to people everywhere.

  23. The Real Shuxion says: Feb 8, 2010 3:09 PM

    106.5 million watched Manning not only not reach the legacy of Montana (Forever) but fall below the legacy of Brady (For now at least).

  24. AlanSaysYo says: Feb 8, 2010 3:13 PM

    “on the flip side, why don’t we spend this “first day without football” trying to figure out what matchup in next year’s Super Bowl would cause the largest percentage ratings tumble in history…”
    Chiefs-Rams: The Flurry in Missouri

  25. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 8, 2010 3:19 PM

    Probably would have been 200 million if the Cowboys had played in the game. Maybe 25 million if the 0-3gles had.

  26. Insomniac says: Feb 8, 2010 3:35 PM

    Does this mean that some can stop attributing the championship weekend numbers to Brett Favre?

  27. Contra says: Feb 8, 2010 3:46 PM

    Insomniac says:
    February 8, 2010 3:35 PM
    Does this mean that some can stop attributing the championship weekend numbers to Brett Favre?
    ———–
    Does this mean we can stop attributing any kind of numbers to the Cowboys?

  28. The Genius says: Feb 8, 2010 4:19 PM

    Total no brainer. Everything is breaking records because of the RECESSION and millions of people are sitting at home not working and watching free TV.
    Just like the World Series, ProBowl, NBA Opening Day, all sporting events have record viewers because of the RECESSION.
    DOPES!

  29. Nick Shank says: Feb 8, 2010 4:24 PM

    How do you calculate how many people watched the game?
    Is says an estimated amount, so to me that is not accurate

  30. Vito says: Feb 8, 2010 5:02 PM

    I know Nielsen uses a formula based on a survey sample, but I still have to wonder how much the storm in the Mid-Atlantic played into it. D.C., Baltimore, Philly, Delaware, much of New Jersey were so inundated by snow that most people couldn’t leave their houses, making Super Bowl parties nearly impossible. So instead of the usual 10+ people watching the game on one TV, we had to watch at our own houses on 5 different TVs.

  31. TheWizard says: Feb 8, 2010 9:59 PM

    There are approximately 75 million more people in the country now, as compared to the MASH date.
    Might have something to do with it.

  32. Route36West says: Feb 8, 2010 11:58 PM

    Florios your wrong again. You Said
    “Last year, Super Bowl XLIII generated for NBC an all-time record audience of 98.7 million viewers. This year, the average audience is expected to extend into nine figures, for the first time ever.
    That said, the ratings record generated by the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1982 remains safe, given the extensive fracturing of the American audience by the multitude of cable channels and proliferation of the Internet.”
    Get Used to It.

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