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

Eli Manning Super Bowl 2012

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.