Wow. I thought that the closeness of this year’s game certainly helped it in the ratings, but there was no way I thought it would surpass last year’s contest. Well according to NBC it has, and to the tune of 151.6 Million total viewers and 98.7 Million viewers on average. Via NBC PR….

TAMPA – Feb. 3, 2009 – Super Bowl XLIII is now the most viewed television program in U.S. history with a total audience of 151.6 million viewers, according to official national ratings data released today by Nielsen Media Research.

“It’s always incredibly satisfying to amass large audiences, but this television record simply reaffirms the power of the Super Bowl and the National Football League,” said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “Everyone associated with the NFL should feel a great sense of pride in this accomplishment and in providing a day of enjoyment to American families – especially those who are struggling in these difficult times.”

1. Super Bowl XLIII 151.6 million NBC 2009
2. Super Bowl XLII 148.3 million Fox 2008
3. Super Bowl XXVIII 144.4 million CBS 2004

The total audience of 151.6 million viewers tops the previous Super Bowl record audience of 148.3 million viewers by 3.3 million viewers (Super Bowl XLII, Giants-Patriots, Note: total audience measures viewership for all or part of a broadcast).

MOST-WATCHED SUPER BOWLS (average viewers):
1. Super Bowl XLIII 98.7 million NBC 2009
2. Super Bowl XLII 97.5 million Fox 2008
3. Super Bowl XXX 94.1 million NBC 1996
4. Super Bowl XLI 93.2 million CBS 2007
5. Super Bowl XXVII 91.0 million NBC 1993

While the season finale of the TV show M*A*S*H* still holds the average record of 106 million viewers, but their total was only in the 120 million range. Pretty amazing that a small market team like Arizona, held their own in both the game and the ratings.

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