Super Bowl XLII most watched ever

Nielsen Media Research reported that the New York Giants’ win over the New England Patriots on Fox was the most-watched Super Bowl ever, with 97.5 million viewers. In fact, the NFL’s big game was the biggest American television broadcast event since the finale episode of the hit series “M-A-S-H” in 1983, which was seen by 106 million viewers and still stands as a milestone in network TV viewing.

The average price of an ad this year was $2.7 million for 30 seconds, and Fox sold out all of the available time slots. An E-Trade ad showing a baby talking about stock deals — and spitting up at the end — was the most-watched commercial during the game, according to TiVo, makers of digital video recorders.

Last year’s Super Bowl between Indianapolis and Chicago was seen by 93.2 million people, Nielsen said. This year’s game even beat out the previous Super Bowl record of 94.1 million, set when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in 1996.