Super Bowl XLVI most-watched show in U.S. television history

Posted Feb. 06, 2012 @ 3:50 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated 3:50 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 6

Super Bowl XLVI earned a 47.8 overnight TV rating, the third-highest ever for a Super Bowl and less than one percent behind last year's game, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

The game was seen by 111.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in U.S. television history, topping last year's 111.0 million.

The Giants beat the Patriots 21-17 in a thrilling Super Bowl.

The rating was seven percent higher than Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants beat the Patriots four years ago. It was also 14 percent higher than the last Super Bowl on NBC, which was Super Bowl XLIII between the Steelers and Cardinals.

"This confirms that the Super Bowl is the most dominant and consistent property on television," said Mark Lazarus, the chairman of the NBC Sports Group. "We are fortunate, in our new agreement with the NFL, to be able to broadcast three more Super Bowls over the next nine years.

The rating in Boston was 56.7, which is the best ever for an NFL game in that market. The game registered a 49.7 in New York, which is the second-highest in that market, trailing Super Bowl XXI, which was the Giants' first-ever Super Bowl.

Madonna's halftime performance earned a 48.1 overnight, which was one percent ahead of last year's show that featured the Black Eyed Peas.