Most-Watched Super Bowl Ever
February 4, 2008 11:02 AM
Fox says it's official: Sunday's suspenseful matchup between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants was the most-watched Super Bowl in history, according to time-zone-adjusted fast national Nielsen estimates provided by the network.
An estimated 97.5 million viewers, up 5% from last year, tuned in to watch the Giants achieve a last-minute upset of the previously undefeated Patriots to make Super Bowl history.
The show was the second-most watched television program of all time, behind the 1983 finale of "M*A*S*H," which was viewed by 106 million people. The previous most-watched Bowl, with 94.1 million viewers, was Dallas vs. Pittsburgh in 1996.
Sunday’s game scored a 37.6 rating among adults 18 to 49, making it the highest-rated Super Bowl in the demo in eight years. The 1996 Super Bowl remains the highest rated with a 41.2 rating.
This year’s Super Bowl was followed by an original episode of “House,” which earned a record-setting 12.8. "House" was the highest-rated scripted program on any network in two years and was up 29% from last year's post-game airing of "Criminal Minds" on CBS.
Overall, Fox enjoyed its highest-rated night ever in the demo and in total viewers, as well as posting the highest-rated night on any broadcast network in at least 17 years.
Some of the headlines this morning: "Super Bowl Headlines Tell Tale of Two Cities," "Giants Stun Perfect Pats in Super Bowl" and "An Idol and an Icon Entertain Super Bowl Revelers." Plus: USA Today's annual ad-meter rates the Super Bowl commercials. Review: "America's national celebration of advertising gluttony for once couldn't overshadow the game."
Competition was scarce.
ABC was a distant second, averaging a 1.2 rating for the night, led by an airing of the movie “Meet the Fockers” (1.4). CBS and NBC tied with a 0.8 average, CBS led by a “Cold Case” repeat (1.3) and NBC airing a marathon of “The Biggest Loser: Couples” repeats (0.6 and 1.0).
More to come.