Record Smashed! The Super Bowl was Watched by 106.5 Million, Breaking the All-Time Viewing Record Set by ‘M*A*S*H’ Finale

Feb 8, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Twenty-seven years ago, in 1983, Sally Ride become the first U.S. woman in space. Pitchers Nolan Ryan of the Astros and Steve Carlton of the Phillies both broke Walter Johnson’s 56 year record for most strikeouts. "Terms of Endearment" won the Oscar for Best Picture.

And on Monday night, February 28, 1983, 105.9 million Americans gathered around their TV sets to watch the finale of "M*A*S*H."

Now 27 years later, that viewing record has been surpassed by Sunday’s Super Bowl, which was watched by 106.5 million viewers.

With the advent of increased cable TV programming and the Internet, and video gaming, many thought that the we’d never see an audience again get to a size that could break the record set by the finale of "M*A*S*H."

But as Bill Carroll, vp director of programming at Katz TV Group, told James Hibberd of The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed Blog about this year’s Super Bowl breaking the viewing record, he said, "It’s not surprising. When you have a once-a-year event, particularly suited to HD, with little to no competition on broadcast or cable, while in this economy it’s mostly watched from home, with a blizzard on the East Coast, it would be more surprising if the game did not set a record."

–Chuck Ross 

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