Super Bowl XLIX is the Most-Watched Show in U.S. Television History


Super Bowl XLIX movie spots

Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, featuring the New England Patriots’ history-making comeback from 10 points behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24, is the most-watched television program in U.S. history and the highest-rated Super Bowl in 30 seasons, according to fast national data released today by The Nielsen Company.

The game was seen by a record 114.4 million viewers (6:31-10:10 p.m. ET), topping by 2.2 million viewers last year’s Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX and is the biggest audience to watch a television program in U.S. history.

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“Last night’s Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl ranks among the most exciting sporting events in U.S. history,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Super Bowl XLIX delivered for all of our partners, proving once again that the Super Bowl is the most dominant and consistent property on television.”

From 6-6:30 p.m. ET, the Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game show averaged 72.7 million viewers, ranking as the most watched pre-kickoff segment on record (since the advent of the People Meter in 1988), and a six percent increase from the similar time period last year (68.6 million).

The halftime performance by Katy Perry during the 8-8:30 p.m. ET half hour, was seen by 118.5 million viewers, 3 million+ viewers more than last year’s halftime featuring Bruno Mars (115.3 million), and is the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show featuring entertainment ever (dating back to 1991). The halftime show earned a 48.2/72 household rating, two percent higher than last year (47.2/70) and is the highest-rated halftime show featuring entertainment ever.

The Super Bowl XLIX Post-Game Show (10:10-10:38) averaged 72.5 million viewers – up 10% from last year’s 65.8 million viewers for Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX.


1. 114.4 Million – Super Bowl XLIX, NBC (Last Night’s Game)

2. 112.2 Million – Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX (Feb. 2014)

3. 111.3 Million – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Feb. 2012)

4. 111.0 Million – Super Bowl XLV, FOX (Feb. 2011)

5. 108.7 Million – Super Bowl XLVII, CBS (Feb. 2013)

6. 106.5 Million – Super Bowl XLIV, CBS (Feb. 2010)

7. 106.0 Million – M.A.S.H. Finale, CBS (Feb. 1983)

8. 98.7 Million – Super Bowl XLIII, NBC (Feb. 2009)

*for Super Bowls, includes only full game telecasts


1. 49.1/73 – Super Bowl XVI, CBS (Jan. 1982)

2. 48.6/69 – Super Bowl XVII, NBC (Jan. 1983)

3. 48.3/70 – Super Bowl XX, NBC (Jan. 1986)

4. 47.5/71 – Super Bowl XLIX, NBC (Last Night’s Game)

5. 47.2/67 – Super Bowl XII, CBS (Jan. 1978)

6. 47.1/74 – Super Bowl XIII, NBC (Jan. 1979)

7. 47.0/71 – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Feb. 2012)

8. 46.7/69 – Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX (Feb. 2014)

T9. 46.4/71 – Super Bowl XVIII, CBS (Jan. 1984)

T9. 46.4/63 – Super Bowl XIX, ABC (Jan. 1985)

T9. 46.4/69 – Super Bowl XLVII, CBS (Feb. 2013)

NBC’s post-Super Bowl telecast of “The Blacklist” set series records of 26.5 million viewers overall and an 8.7 rating in adults 18-49, making it the highest-scoring primetime entertainment telecast on the Big 4 networks in both measures since the Academy Awards last March. It was also NBC’s most-watched scripted program in more than 10 years, since “ER” averaged 28.3 million viewers on May 6, 2004, the night of the “Friends” finale.

Last night’s special post-Super Bowl edition of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” delivered 9.8 million viewers overall and a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49, the show’s second-best results to date behind only last February’s series premiere following an Olympics telecast. The 9.8 million viewers makes it the most-watched post-Super Bowl late-night talk show in the history of People Meters (dating back to September 1987).