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

(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.)

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)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrates after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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