CBS Sets Record with Super Bowl XLIV

February 8, 2010
FootballNEW YORK: Nielsen said Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast drew the largest audience of any program throughout the history of its measurements.

“CBS’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV attracted an average audience of 106.5 million U.S. viewers, making it the most-watched Super Bowl of all time,” Nielsen said. “The game was viewed in 51.7 million households, making it the most-watched television program of all time among households, beating the ‘M*A*S*H’ finale in 1983, which was seen by an average of 50.2 million homes. The game scored a preliminary 45 percent U.S. household rating.”

In New Orleans, home of the Super Bowl ring-bearers, the Saints, just over 56 percent of households tuned in, making it the top market for the game. Washington, D.C. was next with 56 percent, then Nashville with 54.4 percent; Indianapolis, home of the defeated Colts, with 54.2 percent, then Columbus, Ohio, with 54 percent.

From Dave Thomas, president of Nielsen Client Services: “The Super Bowl remains the premier television event of the year, and is one of the few programs in an era of fragmented TV viewership that can still attract a huge national audience. This year’s Super Bowl had a compelling narrative, with the underdog New Orleans Saints coming from behind against powerhouse Indianapolis Colts. There was tremendous interest in both the game and the advertisements leading up to last night and the excitement of the game itself translated into record ratings.”

The top five most-watched Super Bowls of all time (total viewers) are as follows:
XLIV    Feb. 7, 2010     CBS    New Orleans-Indianapolis    106,480
XLIII    Feb. 1, 2009     NBC    Arizona-Pittsburgh               98,732
XLII      Feb. 3, 2008    FOX    NY Giants-New England        97,448
XXX      Jan. 28, 1996   NBC    Dallas-Pittsburgh                  94,080
XLI       Feb. 4, 2007     CBS    Chicago-Indianapolis            93,184 

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