Super Bowl XLVIII Is Most-Watched TV Show in U.S. History With 112.2 Million Viewers (Updated)

Super Bowl XLVIII Is Most-Watched TV Show in U.S. History With 112.2 Million Viewers (Updated)

Seattle victory tops previous audience record from New York Giants win two years ago

Super Bowl XLVIII was a blowout victory for both the Seattle Seahawks and for Fox.

The big game pulled in 112.2 million viewers, topping the previous historical mark set two years ago of 111.3 million, when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. An earlier version of this story reflected 111.5 million viewers — the number available at the time. This record, despite Seattle racking up the largest Super Bowl blowout in 21 years with a 43-8 beatdown of the Denver Broncos.

Fox's previous network record was 111 million viewers for Super Bowl XLV (Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.) Three of the last four Super Bowls have set average viewership records.

Also read: Ratings: ‘Downton Abbey’ Second Only to ‘Super Bowl’

Super Bowl XLVIII posted a 46.7 rating and 69 share in households. An earlier version of this story reflected a 46.4/69 — the numbers available at the time.

The updated measurements marks Super Bowl XLVIII as the standalone seventh-highest rated Super Bowl ever.

Sunday's rating at kickoff, 44.5/70, ranks as the highest on record, and 12 percent more than the kickoff rating a year ago. A closer game may have provided a larger record margin for Fox.

See photos: Super Bowl's 7 Most Buzzed-About Commercials

The Pepsi Halftime show, featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, also set a record with 115.3 million people tuning in. That figure surpasses the 110.8 million delivered by Beyonce last year, and the prior record of 114.0 million set by Madonna two years ago.

Fox's official pregame show hit a 12-year high, averaging a 12.0/22 — a 20 percent jump from CBS’ pregame last year — and 23.1 million viewers from 2:00 p.m. ET to kickoff (6:33 p.m. ET).

Also read: ‘New Girl’ Post-Super Bowl Episode Is Highest Rated Scripted Entertainment Broadcast Since 2011

Here are the Top 10 local markets in terms of the household ratings/share performance on Sunday:
Kansas City (58.1/78)
Seattle (56.7/92 — the market's best Super Bowl performance ever)
Indianapolis (53.9/74)
New Orleans (53.2/72)
Tulsa (52.9/71)
Las Vegas (52.5/75)
Portland (52.4/82)
Knoxville (52.3/68)
Jacksonville (52.0/68)
Denver (51.4/83)
Tampa Bay (51.4/71)

Host market New York City delivered a 50.5, its best Super Bowl rating since 1987 (Super Bowl XXI: Giants vs. Broncos, 53.4).

  • CColvin

    How depressing it is, a celebration of violence and greed, with idiotic commercials, for the most part. What a shame. Sad commentary. The best thing on last night was Sherlock, a great production.

    • Danny Kastner

      I enjoyed the game. To you people can't enjoy different sports, music, culture, arts hobbies, etc.. It's all gotta go CColvin's way. How depressing are you?! Now back to Puccini's La bohème for me. The 1956 RCA recording in mono is great.

    • Kevin Schaffner

      I love football and don't make a dime off it. Go ahead. Watch Sherlock. You're just making an ass out of yourself with a comment like that

  • CColvin

    What a sad commentary, a celebration of violence and greed, with commercials so celebrated and glorification of militarism. Sickening. The best thing on tv last night was Sherlock. That was a quality production.

    • Guest

      I'd rather watch Seattle obliterate the Broncos defense for another 3 hours than to watch that cow dung atrocity of a show

      • CColvin

        Sherlock has more intelligence more class and more talent then 50 Stuper Bowls, idiot!

        • Cmon

          Nothing like trying to impose your values on others and closing with a comment like, “idiot” to solidify your intelligence.

          • CColvin

            I have your values shoved down my throat all the time, and it shows that you can't take the heat. It is just an overblown game, which, since my boyfriend is a fan, I have to watch. You should check out the columns of Dave Zirin, he puts it all in perspective. And that so many millions of people accept a game that is, at it's heart, so violent and causes so much damage, is pitiful. The NFL makes 9 Billion TAX FREE dollars and also does not help the former players that are so damaged, again, shows its bankruptcy. I will take baseball anyday.

  • Fitbeans

    Every person I talked to today turned off the game after Bruno Mars. I'd be interested to see how many were watching at the end vs. at kickoff.

    What a bummer. I love football. I couldn't care less about Denver or Seattle but wanted to see a good game. Blow outs are boring.

    • Danny Kastner

      You never give up on Peyton Manning at the half. Yet, he didn't have it in him.

  • Happy Happy

    Guess I'm one of the few who did not watch the Super Bowl. Don't feel like I missed anything of value.

  • Danny C.

    I watched cause of Renée Fleming. :)

  • jam

    So really, how do they know 111.3 million watched the game two years ago and 111.5 watched this year?

    • Brian

      Thats a good question how do they know exactly I wasnt asked.Is it Big Brother watching us I would really like to know how they get these exact numbers

  • Danny Kastner

    The Beatles will always reign in this category: Adjusted for viewer saturation across homes and businesses the 74M the Beatles had in **1964** would probably be 150M today. That was 50 years ago!