Super Bowl XLIV Most-Watched Program In Television History
Now that the final count is in, however, we've learned that Super Bowl XLIV was much more than simply the highest rated Super Bowl. The series finale of M*A*S*H, long-standing record-holder of the most watched program in TV history, drew 105.97 million viewers. The Nielsen ratings have revealed that Sunday's Super Bowl drew 106.5 million viewers.
As is this isn't insane enough, CBS has released a statement with more details on the event. In the final 15 minutes of the game, the rating score was 50.6, meaning that more than half of the households in the entire country were tuned in. This number also had a 71 share for the audience. Translation: an incredible 71 percent of the televisions in the entire nation were set to the Super Bowl.
New Orleans topped the list in terms of ratings, with an estimated 82 percent of TVs on the game. Washington, Nashville, Indianapolis and Columbus followed.
The feat is much more impressive when you consider all the alternatives. Back in the 1980s, it was pretty easy for major sporting events to garner gargantuan ratings, but nowadays there are literally hundreds of other channels from which viewers can choose -- not to mention the options the Internet provides. The fact that there are so many people watching one game in 2010 shows the NFL is truly a monster company.