The ratings for Super Bowl XVLIII, which featured the Seattle Seahawks versus the Denver Broncos, have been recalculated and Nielsen now says the contest was the most watched television program in the history of, well…television. It drew an estimated 111.5 million viewers. This means the Super Bowl has established itself as the most watched program in history six of the last seven years it was televised. In the 56 markets where Nielsen meters are located, the overall average was 47.6 household rating/70 share. Last year’s Super Bowl XVLII yielded a record 48.1/71 share. The second highest on record was the 47.9/71 for Green Bay-Pittsburgh on Fox in 2011.
This was the first time the Super Bowl was held in the New York media market and produced a 50.5 rating for Fox 5. It was the station’s highest since the 1987 Super Bowl that pitted the Denver Broncos against the New York Giants. But New York did not garner the highest number of viewers, nor did Denver or Seattle for that matter. The highest number of viewers tuned in from Kansas City, MO. Ironically, the Kansas City Chiefs are inter-divisional rivals of the Denver Broncos. Last year’s game on CBS ended up averaging 108.69 million viewers in the nationals, making it the third most-watched ever, but below both 2012 and 2011. Prior to last year, each of the five previous Super Bowl games had set the record as the most-watched event in U.S. television history. Brunos Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers halftime performance also set a record as 115.3 million stayed to watch the show. The previous highs were for Beyonce last year (110.8 million) and Madonna two years ago (114.0).