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Super Bowl draws record 111.3 million viewers

Super Bowl XLVI Getty Images

Super Bowl XLVI was the most-watched television program in American history.

Sunday night’s game averaged 111.3 million viewers to break the record set by last year’s Super Bowl, which had 111.0 million viewers. Although the game’s overnight rating was very slightly down from last year, the total audience was slightly up from last year.

The 1983 M*A*S*H series finale had long stood as the only television show in American history to draw more than 100 million viewers, but all of the last three Super Bowls have topped M*A*S*H.

Sunday night’s audience steadily grew as it went on, with 117.7 million viewers for the final half hour of the game, when the Giants were marching down the field for their game-winning touchdown, followed by the Patriots’ last-gasp Hail Mary falling incomplete.

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24 Responses to “Super Bowl draws record 111.3 million viewers”
  1. mjbulls45 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:21 PM

    am i the only die hard blood legit football fan

    that didnt like either team?

    man if the browns, lions were in there im rootin my tail off for them,

    raiders, jags, skins, anyone!

    anyone but those 2 materialistic shallow cities and their fans!

    whatever thumbs down it,

    i’m a real football fan.

    Not for show like ya’ll

    all of a sudden a million giant flags and jerseys come out

    i didnt see ya’ll at 7-7…

  2. trbowman says: Feb 6, 2012 4:22 PM

    Look, the NFL shows it is king again.

    But according to some of you Goodell is ‘destroying’ football. Lol!

    Go Bills.

  3. ickky says: Feb 6, 2012 4:22 PM

    111.3 million give a collective yawn

  4. tdk24 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:23 PM

    Make up your mind, is it up or down?

  5. djstat says: Feb 6, 2012 4:28 PM

    So were the ratings down or up…make up your mind

  6. sirmixalotalotalot says: Feb 6, 2012 4:31 PM

    Games have been more competitive in general the last 6 or so years. No surprise that more people are watching

  7. dumdumdidday says: Feb 6, 2012 4:32 PM

    Sad the Patriots lost, but NBC did a great presentation, I think you guys have the best football coverage, with second place being FOX. If only you guys could get the NBA back on NBC – that would be epic. I love the music for Sunday Night Football and I still love the music of the NBA on NBC, wish I could make it my ringtone

  8. Nikhil Balakumar says: Feb 6, 2012 4:35 PM

    yeh the world must be really boring since my mom actually watched the game

  9. mikea311 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:37 PM

    So you are saying a lot of people got to see how elite Eli is?

  10. lilrob10201 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:38 PM

    America’s sport right hear.Its no longer baseball.

  11. thatobnoxiousguy says: Feb 6, 2012 4:39 PM

    117.7 million viewers for the final half hour, with 117.699 loving the fact that the Patriots STILL can’t win a legitimate championship.

    117.699 relishing Eli and Coughlin schooling the two most overrated frauds in the game…..AGAIN.

    117.699 laughing and making fun of the bandwagon “fans” of the Patriots……the most embarassing, mouthy, run their mouths when winning and then whine/complain about getting the same in return when losing “fans”

  12. pftard says: Feb 6, 2012 4:43 PM

    For the sake of clarity.., this is greater than 1/3 of the entire US Population watching the second half of the game. Wow!

  13. Broncofanatic7 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:54 PM

    So how can they determine how many people are actually watching? I’ve always wondered about this…. 1 person watching 1 TV at some house, and 50 people watching a TV at another place. I know it’s probably all on averages, but I’m still confused….

  14. outlawshark says: Feb 6, 2012 4:54 PM

    There was excitement in this game?

  15. glennsyank13 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:55 PM

    I still think there is no way MASH ever legitimately had 100 million viewers

  16. dvdman123 says: Feb 6, 2012 4:56 PM

    Madonna was the BEST thing about the Super Bowl…….that in itself speaks volumes. What a yawner. Hey maybe the NFL rules committee can prohibit the Giants and Patriots from playing each other again in the Super Bowl until the next decade.

  17. granadafan says: Feb 6, 2012 5:00 PM

    The numbers should have been higher, because the ratings count TVs on and not how many people are crowded around the TVs, watching the game and stuffing their faces.

  18. gmsalpha says: Feb 6, 2012 5:17 PM

    As the population of the country and world grows, of course more people are going to be watching. But at the same time, each year there are more and more channels and viewing alternatives.

    Anyone who says the game was a yawner is dilusional. It was a great game.

    I don’t care for either team, but that was part of the joy for me. I really couldn’t care less who won or lost. I was able to enjoy the game without a rooting interest.

  19. hellawaitsusall says: Feb 6, 2012 5:25 PM

    funny, this morning reports said it was shy of being the most watched SB. This afternoon it changes, these numbers are a farce anyways

  20. danielapackardpc says: Feb 6, 2012 5:32 PM

    There were a lot fewer people living in the USA in 1983 when the M*A*S*H finale aired. M*A*S*H certainly still holds the record for largest percentage of Americans watching by a wide margin.

    With that being said, it was a great game.

  21. La Milicia Negra says: Feb 6, 2012 5:35 PM

    Is this 113 US citizens or worldwide?

  22. xphase says: Feb 6, 2012 5:41 PM

    And to think most of these numbers are usually low end esitmates. NFL’s numbers are great as it is, football is such a communal sport just think what the ratings would be if everyone stayed at their home instead of going to a friends/family members house or bar/restaurant to watch games every week.

  23. panthers34 says: Feb 6, 2012 5:49 PM

    Anyone besides me longing for a super bowl blowout? We havent had a team just be dominant wire to wire in a while. I want to beleive in gretness again. Next year: Panthers 50, Dolphins 14.

  24. jdandcoke says: Feb 6, 2012 6:25 PM

    without the ny market the nfl doesnt even exist….deal with it. when the browns, jags, skins, or raiders wind up hiring people who actually know how to run a footbal team, then maybe you’ll see them in the superbowl

    and btw…just because we dont sound like a bunch of inbreeds, saying words like “ya’ll”, doesnt mean that all of us giants fans live in penthouses in manhatten….id venture to say that most of us dont even live near nyc…..i personally havent been there in over 20 years.

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