How You Watched the Super Bowl
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Super Bowl Sunday was a massive multimedia hit, despite concerns that the Seattle Seahawks' early domination against the Denver Broncos would make the entire evening a snoozer.
The game became the most watched TV event ever with 112.2 million average viewers tuning in to Fox, according to Nielsen. It also drew 24.9 million tweets, up from 24.1 million during last year's Super Bowl, according to Twitter.
Super Bowl XLVIII was also the most watched live stream of a single sporting event with an average 528,000 viewers on the Fox Sports GO app.
On TV, the game reached its peak during the third quarter with 118 million viewers. The high point on Twitter came at the beginning of the third quarter when Seahawk Percy Harvin returned a kickoff for an 87-yard touchdown. That moment hit 381,605 tweets per minute.
Other top moments, according to Twitter, include Russell Wilson's 23-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse during the third quarter (271,775 tweets per minute), Malcolm Smith's 69-yard interception return during the second quarter (244,889 TPM), and the end of the halftime show featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (229,533 TPM).
Joe Namath and his furry coat also caused Twitter buzz at the beginning of the game, generating 57,000 mentions and more than a dozen parody Twitter accounts.
The most tweeted brand of the night, meanwhile, was Esurance. The insurance company ran an ad right after the game offering entry into a $1.5 million sweepstakes to anyone who tweeted #EsuranceSave30 within the 36 hours after the ad aired.
It might come as a surprise that Super Bowl XLVIII generated more tweets than Super Bowl XLVII when considering that this year's game only lasted 3 hours and 25 minutes, 55 minutes shorter than last year's run time of 4 hours and 20 minutes, according to TiVo. Last year's game was extended due to a blackout in the stadium.
TiVo also reported that Fox aired 28 promos for its network and shows, down 20 spots from CBS' 48 promos last year.
The most TiVo'd ad of the night was the spot for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which featured a Seinfeld reunion. The special episode, featuring host Jerry Seinfeld and guest Jason Alexander had 1.9 million views on Sony's digital platform Crackle as of Monday, Feb. 3.
Of the film trailers that aired during the game, the top five most watched on YouTube in the 36 hours after the game were Transformers: Age of Extinction, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Muppets Most Wanted and Need for Speed.
Despite record-breaking viewership, it appears that some people weren't watching the game. According to Google, the third-most-popular search of the night was "Super Bowl score," following No. 1 search "Bruno Mars" and No. 2 search "Russell Wilson."
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