Super Bowl Snags Best Ratings in TV History
But viewership peaked when Seattle took a commanding 22-0 lead
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2014 5:20 PM CST
Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(Newser) – Did a blowout victory get in the way of America's great TV love affair? Not at all: Brushing aside initial reports of low ratings, Deadline reports that Super Bowl XLVIII drew 111.5 million viewers—the most of any show in US history. And Bruno Mars' half-time performance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers drew a record 115.3 million, topping Madonna's 114 million in 2012 and Beyonce's 110.8 million last year. Meanwhile, the game's fast national share of 46.4/69 (% of TV households/% of TV sets) matched last year's matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

The game's kickoff rating, 44.5/70, was the highest ever for a Super Bowl, but ratings peaked around 7:30pm-8pm at 47.9/71 when the Seattle Seahawks took a commanding 22-0 lead over the Denver Broncos. Now the country's top five most-watched shows are all Super Bowls, Entertainment Weekly notes, with the 1983 M*A*S*H finale in sixth place. (Click to see which advertisers made this year's best and worst Super Bowl ads.)

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Feb 6, 2014 8:58 AM CST
The 'Rocky Mountains' were really 'high' on that field. You could see it when that ball sailed past Payton's face at the start, lol! Seattle Seahawks stomped the hell outta them!
Feb 3, 2014 10:28 PM CST
The fact is, the Super Bowl appears to have been fixed. Denver took a dive. With all the errors and missed opportunities, it is not that Denver was “playing below it's level”, the Broncos weren't playing football at all! It is patently impossible that they could get through to whole season, rising in the rankings to where they would be in the Super Bowl, then fall flat on that day! It smacks of the same connivery when the Boston Red Sox, for the first time ever, won a World Series, and against the Yankees, and, incidentally, being described as the first team to lose the first three games of the Series , then win every one of the last four, in 2004. They both appear to have been manufactured “wins”. Many, many people lost huge sums on the evidently fraudulent results of the 2014 Super Bowl, but the crooks running the swindle seem to feel they are safe, since they don't seem likely to advertise that they broke the law in gambling on the game.
The Pope
Feb 3, 2014 9:00 PM CST
The Denver defense really bombed yesterday.