A stunning finish to Super Bowl XLIX helped the NBC telecast attract a record-setting audience of 114.4 million viewers, topping last year’s record by 2.2 million.
The 28-24 win by the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks averaged a 47.5 rating between 6:31 p.m. and 10:10 p.m. EST, the highest the big game has scored since 1986, when the Chicago Bears topped the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
Each rating point represents a percentage of U.S. television households.
It’s the second straight year the Super Bowl has set an all-time viewing record, as it topped the 112.2 million who watched Fox’s telecast last year, when the Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos 43-8. The top six most watched programs in television history are now Super Bowl telecasts.
The rating for this year’s game peaked from 9:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST, with the Patriots’ comeback from a 10-point deficit being watched by 120.8 million viewers.
The halftime show, featuring Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott, was watched by 118.5 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST, a gain of 3.2 million over last year when Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers starred. It was the largest audience for a Super Bowl halftime show.