Super Bowl XLVIII draws a record 111.5-million viewers

Super Bowl XLVIII
Malcolm Smith of the Seattle Seahawks (53) stops Montee Ball of the Denver Broncos.
(Brian Branch Price / MCT)
<i>This post has been corrected. Please see note below.</i>

Super Bowl XLVIII may have been a blowout, but that apparently didn’t deter viewers.

The Seattle Seahawks’ smack-down of the Denver Broncos drew 111.5-million people on average, according to Nielsen, making it the most-watched television show in U.S. history.  

The previous most-watched game was the much more competitive Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 with 111.3 million viewers for NBC, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17. 

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Last year’s game drew 108.7 million viewers as the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Fransisco 49ers 34-31. 

Super Bowl XLVIII was also a record-breaking night for halftime. 

The halftime show featuring Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers drew 115.3-million viewers, beating the 110.8 million that tuned in for Beyoncé last year and the record of 114 million hooked by Madonna two years ago. 

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Sunday’s lopsided game was a big disappointment for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The game got off to a bad start for the Broncos as a snap sailed past Manning’s head and the Broncos fell on it in the end zone for a safety.

Three of the last four Super Bowls have set average viewership records.

[For the Record: 1:49 p.m., Feb. 3: A previous version of this post said the Seahawks recovered the bad snap in the end zone.]


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