By James Hibberd and Jon Lafayette
Sunday’s Super Bowl ratings rose slightly from last year, giving CBS a boost for the season.
Using fast nationals provided by CBS, the game between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts earned a 35.1 rating among adults ages 18 to 49, and was seen by an estimated 93.1 million total viewers. The Bowl was up 1 percent in 18 to 49 compared to last year.
Overall, the Super Bowl drew a 42.6 rating and 64 share, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 2 percent from last year’s NFL championship game.
The national Nielsen numbers are scheduled to be released Tuesday morning.
The Super Bowl is usually good for about two-tenths of a ratings point boost for the host network’s season average. Sunday’s game should give top-ranked CBS some extra power to ward off Fox in this season’s race to be the most-watched network in the 18 to 49 demographic.
The Indianapolis Colts’ win over the Chicago Bears was the highest-rated Super Bowl since the 43.4/63 registered in 2000 when the St. Louis Rams victory over the Tennessee Titans was decided on the last play of the game.
Super Bowl XLI was the second-most watched Super Bowl averaging 93.15 million viewers. That put Sunday’s game behind only the series finale of M*A*S*H and Super Bowl XXX as TV’s most watched shows.
At least part of the game was seen by 139.8 million viewers. Ratings peaked at 9-9:30 p.m. ET at 45/65.
Sunday night programming
CBS followed the game with “Criminal Minds,” which earned a 10.0 rating. That’s easily the best rating in “Minds” history, yet was down 39 percent from “Grey’s Anatomy” post-Super Bowl performance for ABC last year, and it was the lowest-rated Bowl lead-out since “Alias” on ABC in 2003.
The Bowl made for dramatically anemic ratings for the other networks. ABC was in second place with an average of 1.8, running repeats of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (1.3), “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.6) and a movie.
Fox was third with a 1.1 average, running a movie. NBC was fourth with a 1.0 average for a marathon of “Grease: You’re the One That I Want.” The CW was last with a 0.5 rating for a “Beauty and the Geek” marathon.