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Super Bowl XLVI Was More Than Just a Big Win for the NY Giants

Al Bello, Getty Images

Did you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday night? According to Nielsen, you probably did since the telecast was the most-watched TV program ever.

Nielsen’s Fast National Data says 111.3 million viewers watched the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI — 300,000 more people than last year — making it the most-watched program since Nielsen began tracking such things.

Put another way? Roughly one out of every three US residents tuned in.

As the game went on and became more of a squeaker, viewership grew even more, peaking at a 117.7 million from 9:30-9:58 p.m. ET in the fourth quarter when Giants quarterback Eli Manning led that final game-winning drive.

As for the much-hyped halftime performance from Madonna, it fared well, too. It was seen by 114.0 million viewers, a rise of four million over last year’s iffy Black Eyed Peas concert. In fact, the Material Girl can now claim headlining the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show featuring entertainment ever (dating back to 1991).

‘The Voice,’ which aired right after the big game, also rode those massive ratings’ coattails. The show netted 37.6 million viewers overall, besting last year’s post-Super Bowl telecast of ‘Glee’ by 47 percent and making the second season premiere of the singing competition the highest-rated entertainment program for the coveted 18-49 age group in six years.

In case you’re wondering, these are the top five most-watched television broadcasts ever:

1. 111.3 Million – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (2012)
2. 111.0 Million – Super Bowl XLV, Fox (2011)
3. 106.5 Million – Super Bowl XLIV, CBS (2010)
4. 106.0 Million – M.A.S.H. Finale, CBS (1983)
5. 98.7 Million – Super Bowl XLIII, NBC (2009)

[TV Newser]

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