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Big in Buffalo: NBC claims highest Super Bowl overnight rating ever

by jmaloni


Mon, Feb 2nd 2015 12:00 pm
Super Bowl XLIX (NBC logo)
Super Bowl XLIX (NBC logo)

Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX thriller posts 49.7/72

Super Bowl XLIX, which featured the New England Patriots' thrilling 28-24 victory over the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, delivered the highest Super Bowl metered market rating in history with a 49.7/72 overnight rating/share on NBC, according to data released today by The Nielsen Company. 

The 49.7/72 is 4 percent higher than last year's game (47.6/70 for Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX, in which the Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8) and is 3 percent higher than the prior record (48.1/71 for Super Bowl XLVII on CBS; Ravens 34, 49ers 31).


1. 49.7/72 - Super Bowl XLIX; Patriots 28-Seahawks 24; NBC (February 2015)

2. 48.1/71 - Super Bowl XLVII; Ravens 34-49ers 31; CBS (February 2013)

T3. 47.9/71 - Super Bowl XLV; Packers 31-Steelers 25; FOX (February 2011)

T3. 47.9/68 - Super Bowl XXI; Giants 39-Broncos 20; CBS (January 1987)

5. 47.8/71 - Super Bowl XLVI; Giants 21-Patriots 17; NBC (February 2012)

Rating Grows Throughout Game

The game rating topped a 50 in each half hour from 8 p.m. ET forward and peaked at a 53.5/74 from 9:45-10 p.m. as the Patriots became the first team to win the Super Bowl after trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter.


  • 6:30-7 -- 44.6/68
  • 7-7:30 -- 48.0/72
  • 7:30-8 -- 49.7/73
  • 8-8:30 -- 50.8/73
  • 8:30-9 -- 50.3/71
  • 9-9:30 -- 50.3/70
  • 9:30-10 -- 52.4/72
  • 10-10:15 -- 52.9/73

Halftime Show Up From Last Year

The halftime performance by Katy Perry (8-8:30 p.m.) delivered a 50.8/73 overnight, 5 percent ahead of last year's 8-8:30 time period featuring Bruno Mars (48.6/71). (Note: Historical halftime ratings/viewership information will be available with fast nationals later today.)

Boston, Host Market Phoenix Set Local Market Records

The rating in Boston was the best ever for a Super Bowl in the market (61.0/85), topping the previous high of 56.7/81 for the N.Y. Giants-Patriots Super Bowl XLVI on NBC.

The host market of Phoenix registered a 55.6/82 rating, the highest for a Super Bowl in the market, topping the prior Phoenix mark of 51.1 for Packers-Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in February 2011.


1. Boston, 61.0/85

2. New Orleans, 55.7/72

3. Phoenix, 55.6/82

T4. Detroit, 55.0/71

T4. Norfolk, 55.0/76

6. Chicago, 54.9/72

7. Kansas City, 54.5/75

T8. Denver, 53.7/79

T8. Indianapolis, 53.7/74

10. Buffalo, 53.6/75

*Seattle tied for 17th with a 52.1/89

When Fast National data is available from Nielsen this afternoon, the viewership could approach last year's 112.2 million who watched Super Bowl XLVIII, the most-watched Super Bowl ever, and the largest television audience in U.S. history.

*Note, the "fast affiliate" data that is available later this morning does not reflect live audience for the Super Bowl across the country. 

*Overnight ratings measure the top 56 U.S. metered markets.

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