Super Bowl Ratings Break Last Year’s Record

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A close game with a finish for the history books propelled NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl 49 into the Nielsen stratosphere, with an estimated 114.4 million people watching the New England Patriots' come-from-behind victory over the Seattle Seahawks (and 120.3 million tuned in to the game’s conclusion). That’s the biggest tally ever for the event and up 2.2 million viewers compared to last year’s game, which was seen by 111.5 million viewers and had stood as the most-watched NFL championship game ever. NBC notes that yesterday’s Super Bowl was the most watched TV event ever, though given substantial U.S population growth over the years, the stat isn’t all that meaningful. 

Meanwhile, a postgame perch, not surprisingly, paid off for NBC drama The Blacklist: It earned its biggest audience ever, attracting 26.5 million viewers and an 8.7 rating among adults under 50. That’s up substantially from the roughly 20 million viewers who caught Fox’s combo of New Girl (26.3 million) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (15.07 million) last year but well below the 37.6 million pairs of eyeballs NBC kept glued to the TV when it aired an episode of The Voice after its 2012 broadcast of the big game. Jimmy Fallon also did well, bringing in 9.8 million viewers — his biggest audience since his post-Olympics premiere last February. CBS will air Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.