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

by jmaloni
Mon, Feb 6th 2012 03:30 pm

111.3 million watch Super Bowl XLVI, tops last year's Super Bowl (111.0 million)

Super Bowl XLVI is the most-watched television program in U.S. history and the highest-rated Super Bowl in 26 years, according to fast national data released today by The Nielsen Company.

The game, in which the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, 21-17, was seen by a record 111.3 million viewers (6:31-9:58 p.m. ET), topping last year's 111.0 for Super Bowl XLV on Fox and is the biggest audience to watch a television program in U.S. history.

Most-watched programs in U.S. television history

1. 111.3 Million - Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (last night's game)
2. 111.0 Million - Super Bowl XLV, Fox
3. 106.5 Million - Super Bowl XLIV, CBS
4. 106.0 Million - M.A.S.H. Finale, CBS
5. 98.7 Million - Super Bowl XLIII, NBC

Highest-rated Super Bowl in 26 years: The game earned a 47.0 rating and a 71 share, a gain of 2 percent from last year's 46.0/69 for Super Bowl XLV, and is the highest-rated Super Bowl since 1986 (Bears-Patriots, Super Bowl XX, 48.3/70). The 47.0 rating is the sixth highest in Super Bowl history.

•The game drew a 40.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted Adult 18-49 demographic, the highest for a Super Bowl in 16 years (41.2 for Super Bowl XXX on Jan. 28, 1996)

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