Super Bowl Is Most-Watched TV Show in U.S. History TVbytheNumbers

Sunday’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI on NBC set a record for U.S. television viewing, according to Nielsen’s fast nationals, reports.

The game was watched by 111.3 million viewers, eclipsing Fox’s telecast of last year’s Super Bowl, which came in with 111.0 million viewers.

The telecast also scored a 40.5 rating in the key 18-49 demo, the highest number for a Super Bowl in 15 years -- since the 1996 game scored a 41.2.

Only one non-Super Bowl broadcast, the “M*A*S*H” finale, is among the top five most-watched television programs in U.S. history, according to the report. Here’s the list:

1. 111.3 Million -- Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Sunday’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

In terms of household ratings, the game had a 47.0 average (along with a 71 share), up 2% from last year’s 46.0/69, making it the sixth-highest-rated Super Bowl and the highest in 26 years.

Here are the highest-rated Super Bowls in households, according to the report:

1. 49.1/73 -- Super Bowl XVI, CBS

2. 48.6/69 -- Super Bowl XVII, NBC

3. 48.3/70 -- Super Bowl XX, NBC

4. 47.2/67 -- Super Bowl XII, CBS

5. 47.1/74 -- Super Bowl XIII, NBC

6. 47.0/71 -- Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Sunday’s game)

T7. 46.4/71 -- Super Bowl XVIII, CBS

T7. 46.4/63 -- Super Bowl XIX, ABC

9. 46.3/67 -- Super Bowl XIV, CBS

10. 46.0/69 -- Super Bowl XLV, Fox

The story adds: “The viewership and rating grew throughout the game and peaked at a 117.7 million viewers and a 50.7 (overall rating)/72 (overall share) ... from 9:30-9:58 p.m. ET in the fourth quarter, when Eli Manning led the Giants on a game-winning drive.”

Additionally, the halftime show featuring Madonna was watched by a record 114.0 million viewers, almost 4 million more than the 110.3 million who watched last year’s Black Eyed Peas performance.