Sunday's Super Bowl most watched TV show in U.S. history, CBS says


But average audience drops off from previous years

  • Ravens celebrate Super Bowl victory Sunday
Ravens celebrate Super Bowl victory Sunday (Paul Morse/MCT )
February 04, 2013|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

Sunday's Super Bowl was the most viewed show in U.S. television history, according to Nielsen figures provided by CBS.

A total audience of 164.1 million saw the Ravens victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The average audience for Sunday's game was 108.4 million viewers, which was the third largest average audience behind the last two Super Bowls.

Total viewership is generally considered the benchmark figure.

Here's the CBS release:

The 2012 NFL season concluded with another television milestone as Super Bowl XLVII on CBS reached a total audience of 164.1 million viewers (6:32-8:41 and 9:11-10:47 PM, ET), making it the most-viewed show in U.S. television history according to The Nielsen Company.

The 49ers-Ravens championship game topped the previous record of 162.9 million total viewers for Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers) and marks the fifth consecutive Super Bowl to reach a total audience of more than 150 million viewers. Super Bowls account for the 22 most-watched programs in history in terms of total audience.
Most-Watched TV Programs, Total Viewers:

Super Bowl XLVII (49ers-Ravens), 2/3/13 -- 164.1 million

Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers), 2/6/11 --162.9 million

Super Bowl XLVI (Giants-Patriots), 2/5/12 -- 159.2 million

Super Bowl XLIV (Colts-Saints), 2/7/10 -- 153.4 million

Super Bowl XLIII (Cardinals-Steelers), 2/1/09 --151.6 million

Source: NFL, The Nielsen Company

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