NEW YORK (AP) — Green Bay’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl has surpassed last year’s record-setting game in the Nielsen Co.’s preliminary ratings measurement of big cities.
The 2010 game between New Orleans and Indianapolis established itself as the most-watched program in U.S. television history, with 106.5 million viewers.
Nielsen didn’t immediately have a viewership estimate for Sunday’s game. But in an overnight measurement of the nation’s 56 largest media markets, this year’s game had a 3 percent higher rating than last year’s.
The game also had a 71 share — meaning that more than two-thirds of the televisions being watched in the country at that time were watching the Super Bowl on the Fox network. That’s the highest audience share for a Super Bowl since 1982, a time when there were far fewer television networks as competition.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that preliminary TV ratings show the game is “on track to be the most-watched show in television history.”
“So we’re excited about the fan reaction,” he said.
Television ratings in general have been super for the NFL this year, with viewership up 13 percent over last year, Nielsen said. Games on CBS, Fox and NBC averaged 20 million viewers, more than twice what networks get for their prime-time programming.
The most-watched moment of the game was Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s final incomplete pass, which essentially clinched the game for Green Bay, according to TiVo Inc., the digital video recorder maker. At least initially, there was some debate among announcers about whether Mike Wallace had been interfered with.
The average Super Bowl viewer with a DVR either paused, rewound or fast-forwarded 145 times during the game, TiVo said.
Fox is owned by News Corp.