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Bill O'Reilly Bragged About Obama Super Bowl Interview Ratings - But Fell Short

The half hour of the Fox pre-game show, during which it took place, drew 17.3 million viewers, fewer than Barbara Walters' 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky.

NEW YORK - The Super Bowl set an all-time TV audience record for Fox, but Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly’s pre-game interview with President Obama didn’t set an audience record, the New York Times reported.

O’Reilly had earlier said that his 15-minute interview would be the most-watched in TV history - perhaps facetiously as the Times pointed out. Calling into Fox News show Happening Now last Friday, he had said:  “More people will see this interview than any other interview that’s ever been done in the history of mankind.”

Ratings data for the exact 15 minutes of the interview have not been broken out yet, but the half hour of the pre-game show, during which it took place, drew 17.3 million viewers, according to the Times.

The biggest interview ever was Barbara Walters’ chat with Monica Lewinsky in 1999, which attracted 70 million viewers.

NBC’s Matt Lauer conducted an interview with the then newly-inaugurated president in 2009 during a half-hour that pulled in 21.9 million viewers. However, that NBC interview happened closer to game time, allowing more viewers to tune in closer to kick-off, the Times said.