If Joe Flacco wasn’t a household name before the Baltimore Ravens’ 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, he certainly is now.
That’s because a record number of households were watching Flacco’s MVP performance Sunday night, according to early overnight ratings released by the Nielsen Co.
The game scored a 48.1 rating and a 71 share in a select measurement of big cities, which would make it the most-watched TV event in U.S. history.
[Updated at 2:11 p.m.: Nielsen estimated Monday afternoon that 108.4 million total viewers watched this year’s game, which makes it the third-most watched program ever, behind the 2010 and 2011 Super Bowls.]
The Green Bay Packers’ win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011 drew a 47.9 rating; the New York Giants’ victory over the New England Patriots in 2012 got a 48.1 rating.
Those two games and the 1983 series finale of “MASH” were the only three broadcasts in history to top the 100-million view mark. This year’s Super Bowl is sure to join the list when Nielsen releases its estimate of how many people watched the game later Monday.
One ratings point represents 1% of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share means that 71% of TVs that were on at the time were tuned to the Super Bowl.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.