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Super Bowl XLVI Becomes Most-Watched Program in U.S. TV History

UPDATED: The big game was watched by 111.3 million viewers, edging out last year's Super Bowl by 300,000 viewers.

Eli Manning

Super Bowl XLVI snuck past last year’s big game to become the most-watched telecast in U.S. TV history. The game – which saw the New York Giants narrowly defeat the New England Patriots – was watched by 111.3 million viewers (from 6:31 to 9:58 p.m. ET). Last year’s Green Bay Packers-Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl registered 111.0 million viewers.

The game, which was broadcast by NBC, pulled in a whopping 40.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, for a 15-year high in the demo (since Super Bowl XXX on Jan. 28, 1996).

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In fact, the last three Super Bowls have set ratings records (chart below), with the 2010 win by the New Orleans Saint toppling a decades-old record set by the finale of M*A*S*H.

1. 111.3 million – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC

2. 111.0 million – Super Bowl XLV, Fox

3. 106.5 million – Super Bowl XLIV, CBS

4. 106.0 million – M*A*S*H, CBS

5. 98.7 million – Super Bowl XLIII, NBC

NBC's popular singing contest The Voice debuted its second season post-game, drawing a rating of 19.4, making it the highest rating for an entertainment telecast on any net in six years since the post-Super Bowl telecast of ABC's Grey’s Anatomy on February 5, 2006.

 

Sunday, Feb. 5, Overnight Ratings:

7 p.m.
NBC: Super Bowl XLVI (102.4 million viewers, 37.3 rating among adults 18-49)
CBS: Undercover Boss (2.83 million viewers, 0.5)
ABC: America's Funniest Home Videos (R) (2.6 million, 0.5)
Fox: Bob's Burgers (R) (0.94 million, 0.4)

7:30 p.m.
Fox: Napoleon Dynamite (R) (1.5 million, 0.6)

8 p.m.
NBC: Super Bowl XLVI (101.6 million, 37.3)
ABC: America's Funniest Home Videos (R) (2.9 million, 0.8)
Fox: The Simpsons (R) (2.8 million, 0.8)
CBS: 60 Minutes Presents: Three Remarkable Women (4.01 million, 0.6)

8:30 p.m.
Fox: The Cleveland Show (R) (1.83 million, 0.8)

9 p.m.
NBC: Super Bowl XLVI (95.6 million, 35.8)
Fox: Family Guy (R) (2.4 million, 1.1)
CBS: CSI: Miami (R) (3.1 million, 0.5)
ABC: The Middle (R) (1.8 million, 0.5)

9:30 p.m.
Fox: American Dad (R) (2.3 million, 1.0)

10 p.m.
NBC: Super Bowl Post Game/ The Voice (53.3 million, 21.6)
ABC: Modern Family (R) (2.9 million, 1.1)
CBS: NCIS (R)(6.4 million, 1.0 )

10:30 p.m.
NBC: The Voice (30.3 million, 13.3)
ABC: Modern Family (3.1 million, 1.1)

**Editor's note: The fast affiliate ratings sent out earlier tody differed from these current numbers due to the nature of live TV ratings.