2nd UPDATE, 12:48 PM: The final numbers are in and Fox has scored a total touchdown with this year’s Super Bowl. With 111.5 million viewers, last night’s game tops out as the most-watched TV show in U.S history. Slapping down preliminary numbers, the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 blowout of the Denver Broncos tops the previous viewership record of the 111.34 million who watched the 2012 Super Bowl on NBC. Yesterday’s game is also the most-watched show in Fox’s history, beating out the 111 million who watched the 2011 Super Bowl on the network. With an average fast national share of 46.4/69, the Seahawks-Broncos game matches the result the Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers last year. The 2014 and 2013 games are now tied as the second-highest-rated Super Bowls in 27 years.
Sunday’s game beat out last year on another field, however: the halftime show featuring Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers. It pulled in 115.3 million viewers, better than Beyonce did last year with 110.8 million and shattering the previous halftime record Madonna set in 2012 with 114 million watching.
The 44.5/70 kickoff rating yesterday was also highest in Super Bowl history, up 12% from last year’s game. The ratings peaked yesterday at 7:30-8 PM ET with a 47.9/71, when Seattle took command of the game building a 22-0 lead and never looking back.
1st UPDATE, 9:13 AM: The Seattle Seahawks won big but Fox took a hit in yesterday’s lopsided Super Bowl. Non-time-zone-adjusted fast nationals have the big game scoring a 34.4/67 last night in the 7-10 PM slot. That’s down 13% among adults 18-49 from last year’s Super Bowl on CBS. Also last year, CBS excluded the span from 8:45-9:15 PM ET that saw that power outage hit the Superdome in New Orleans, causing a big delay in the game pitting the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. CBS put its numbers together last year by pulling data from the 6:30-8:45 PM and 9:15-10:45 PM slots. In terms of viewership, preliminary numbers show Sunday’s game was watched by 96.88 million. That’s down from the final average viewership of 108.69 million who watched last year’s game, according to Nielsen. Time-period-adjusted fast nationals as well as final viewership numbers are expected later today, and we’ll update.
Following some post-game analysis, Fox’s New Girl did much better than recent past Super Bowl half-hour comedies (though it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison as previous comedies were an hour). Coming on near 10:25 PM and with a heavily promoted appearance by Prince, it drew 25.8 million viewers. Its lead-out, freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, pulled in 14.8 million viewers.
PREVIOUS, 5:55 AM: With the biggest blowout in more than 20 years, last night’s Super Bowl pulled in a 47.6/70 in overnight ratings for Fox and the NFL. While down 1% from the 48.1/71 that last year’s big game between Baltimore and San Francisco drew on CBS, the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos still made it into the Top 5 Super Bowls ever. Overall, the approximately 3.5-hour game – including the Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers halftime show – was the lowest in four years, since the 46.4/68 the New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 got for CBS. Then again, the last time the NFL’s big game was so lopsided was in 1993 at Super Bowl XXVII, when the Dallas Cowboys thrashed the Buffalo Bills 52-17.
This morning’s metered-market results are based on 56 markets across the country as they watched Peyton Manning and the Broncos go down hard and the Seahawks take home their very first Super Bowl.
Below is a list of the five highest-rated Super Bowls ever in overnight ratings, as well as the top 10-metered markets for Sunday’s game. By the way, with the game being played in nearby East Rutherford, NJ, in front of more than 82,520 fans at Metlife Stadium, New York City pulled in a 50.5/70 on WYNW Fox 5 — the best Super Bowl rating for the city that never sleeps since the 53.4 of 1987, when the local boys Giants beat the Broncos.
Top 5 Super Bowl XLVIII In Metered-Markets
1) 2013: 48.1 – Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers (CBS)
2) 2011: 47.9 – Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FOX)
3) 1987: 47.9 – Super Bowl XXI: NY Giants vs. Denver Broncos (CBS)
4) 2012: 47.8 – Super Bowl XLVI: NY Giants vs. New England Patriots (NBC)
5) 2014: 47.6 – Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos (FOX)
Top 10 markets For Super Bowl XLVIII
1) Kansas City – 58.1/78
2) Seattle – 56.7/92
3) Indianapolis – 53.9/74
4) New Orleans – 53.2/72
5) Tulsa – 52.9/71
6) Las Vegas – 52.5/75
7) Portland – 52.4/82
8) Knoxville – 52.3/68
9) Jacksonville – 52.0/68
10) Denver – 51.4/83
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.