Super Bowl 2014 was a blowout -- and most-watched TV show in history

Super Bowl 2014 was a blowout -- and most-watched TV show in history
Seattle Seahawks tackle Russell Okung celebrates after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday. The game, telecast on Fox, drew record ratings.
(Tannen Maury / EPA)

[This story has been corrected. See bottom of post for details.]

Sunday’s Super Bowl may not have been exciting football, but it drew record TV ratings anyway.


An average of 111.5-million total viewers tuned in to Fox to see the Seattle Seahawks stomp the Denver Broncos, 43-8, making it the most-watched TV program in U.S. history, according to Nielsen.

That was just a hair above record-setting 111.3 million for the 2011 Giants-Patriots Super Bowl XLV on NBC.


Three of the last four Super Bowls have set television audience records, making the annual winter game one of the very few TV programs showing steady growth in viewing.

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This time around, viewers found little suspense on display. Seattle scored a 2-point safety in the game’s first 12 seconds and dominated the contest from there. Denver did not even score until the very end of the third quarter.

But that appeared to matter little for the ratings. In fact, Nielsen estimated that only 5% of the audience tuned out for the final half-hour of the game, when the outcome was virtually assured.


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[For the Record: 2:45 p.m., Feb.3: An earlier version of this post said the record-setting Giants-Patriots game was played last year. In fact, Super Bowl XLV was played in 2011.]


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