According to preliminary results from The Nielsen Company, 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. 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 45.0% U.S. household rating.
“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,” said Dave Thomas, Nielsen President, Media Client Services. “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.”