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Super Bowl draws record total audience of 166.8 million

Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning Visits Disney World Getty Images

MDS pointed out earlier the average audience numbers for Super Bowl XLVI.  The NFL has now announced the total number of people who watched any portion of the game.

And it’s another record.

In all, 166.8 million tuned in for some portion of NBC’s coverage of the game, making it the biggest total TV audience of all time.

The crowd breaks last year’s record of 162.9 million, who watched some portion of Super Bowl XLV between the Packers and Steelers.

And it’s more than 18 million more viewers than the last Giants-Patriots Super Bowl from four years ago.

Thus, even as we continue to split our time among 300-plus channels and on-demand video and DVDs and the Internet and various other forms of media, there’s only one thing that can unite us as a people:  pro football.

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22 Responses to “Super Bowl draws record total audience of 166.8 million”
  1. hey804 says: Feb 6, 2012 5:53 PM

    Is this in the USA or the world? I’m guessing just the USA. I think close to a billion tune into The World Cup every four years.

  2. jakek2 says: Feb 6, 2012 5:55 PM

    Need to make the day after a National Holiday. Many people are at parties with their families and friends. No sense in making them drive home late at night to work the next day. Scrap Presidents’ Day and make this our holiday.

  3. derekjetersmansion says: Feb 6, 2012 6:00 PM

    What’s the percentage of Americans who watched it? That is probably the same every year.

    Point is, the game isn’t growing in America (Can it?), which is why they’re going to Europe.

    Also, the safety thing is a turn off because it screams public relations. People just want to see guys’ heads being ripped off.

  4. tigerhawkeye says: Feb 6, 2012 6:02 PM

    In other news, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that the U.S. population has also reached record highs.

  5. canetic says: Feb 6, 2012 6:04 PM

    I’ve seen better

  6. dbellina says: Feb 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    You guys need to stream even more games. It makes it a lot easier to watch the game when I’m not around a TV.

  7. medtxpack says: Feb 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    it wasnt necessarily the game. its the NFL getting more popular year after year. which is good.

  8. Rex Grossman says: Feb 6, 2012 6:17 PM

    NBC Online broadcast was excellent although from now on I’ll probably get sick to my stomach every time I see Dwight Schrute.

    CLICK ON MY BODY!

    Over. And over. And over again.

  9. cusoman says: Feb 6, 2012 6:26 PM

    jakek2 says:
    Feb 6, 2012 5:55 PM
    Need to make the day after a National Holiday. Many people are at parties with their families and friends. No sense in making them drive home late at night to work the next day. Scrap Presidents’ Day and make this our holiday.

    ————————-

    Or, and I know it sounds sacrilege, but… move the game to a Saturday.

  10. bearsstillsuck says: Feb 6, 2012 6:30 PM

    Does this include people channel surfing?

  11. finbukake says: Feb 6, 2012 6:30 PM

    How does that translate into advertising revenue? Numbers please. The follow-up question is how many people have seen a woman over 50 dressed up as a cheerleader and not puked in your mouth?

  12. jakek2 says: Feb 6, 2012 6:48 PM

    Or, and I know it sounds sacrilege, but… move the game to a Saturday.
    ——————————
    Its a progressive thought but I think the host team would lose out on too much revenue. Also, travel would be difficult getting fans there after a Friday work week.

  13. vanmorrissey says: Feb 6, 2012 6:52 PM

    Gee, and I thought it was Madonna. Wrong again.

  14. vanmorrissey says: Feb 6, 2012 6:56 PM

    cusoman says:
    Feb 6, 2012 6:26 PM
    Or, and I know it sounds sacrilege, but… move the game to a Saturday.

    Will never happen. Saturday is traditionally one of the worst viewing audiences of the week. The NFL promotes the SB all weekend, all day week long, let alone all day Friday and Saturday, they have parties, the Hall of Fame voting, all sorts of activities slated for Saturday. Plus most NFL games are played on Sundays, only Saturday games are usually during playoffs. They’d never generate the money they do from ad sponsors and marketers if they moved it to Saturday. That ‘s the way it is.

  15. 1phd says: Feb 6, 2012 7:08 PM

    Why do I suspect that these figures are all made up to make advertisers feel good and help the NFL get more money when they negotiate their deals with broadcasters?

  16. fringetastic says: Feb 6, 2012 7:22 PM

    That is nearly 14 times more than the number of people who watch the pro bowl.

  17. jetsforever says: Feb 6, 2012 7:48 PM

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/06/super-bowl-falls-just-short-of-ratings-record/

    Which one is it then?

  18. devilinmypocket says: Feb 6, 2012 8:21 PM

    Hey804,
    According to a article in the UK newspaper The Independent, “Fifa’s overblown figures, the World Cup finals of 2006 respectively attracted global audiences 715.1 million people (Down 50% from 8 years earlier, 25% lower from 4 years earlier)… According to Initiative Sports Futures, independent analysts with no ties to Fifa, the figure for the 2006 World Cup final was 260 million.
    When they say ‘a billion’, they are talking about all matches in all rounds. I wouldn’t doubt they hit that number at all.
    Anyone know what the overall viewership was for the entire NFL playoffs this year?

    And to be clear, I don’t think the NFL gets more viewers than the World Cup as a whole. I just wonder what the gap looks like.

  19. nationalmediacansuckit says: Feb 6, 2012 8:25 PM

    Superbowl Sunday needs to be Superbowl Saturday. This sport it continuously growing every year. Move the game to Saturday so people can truly enjoy the game without having to worry about waking up early to go to work Monday morning. It just makes sense.

  20. christopher525 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:57 PM

    Move it to Saturday, then make the entire weekend a national holiday. Screw the “worst day for ratings” crap. The Super Bowl is STILL the biggest deal in American television. It always will be, moving the day won’t hurt it at all. Also, these numbers come AFTER a lockout that pissed a lot of fans off. If this doesn’t show the true national pastime, nothing will.

  21. ilovefoolsball says: Feb 7, 2012 2:00 AM

    Screw futbol, the only reason they get that many viewers is because:
    A. They’re counting numbers from all of the games from all of the matches, not just that one final game.
    B. Most people in developing countries can only play Soccer because it’s the cheapest sport to play. All you need is a ball and some sticks to make goals.

    American football is the superior team sport vs any other team sport in the world.
    No other team sport has so much strategy and rules involved.

  22. bcjim says: Feb 7, 2012 5:56 AM

    Football has jumped the shark…mark it down.

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