By now, you know that Super Bowl XLIX is the most-watched TV program in U.S. history with 114.4 million viewers. But let’s go inside the numbers to see how this Super Bowl stacks up with previous Big Games.

Of course, this year’s viewership record outpaces the previous record which was set last year by Super Bowl XLVIII which averaged 112.2 million. Here’s how it ranks against the other most-watched programs:

  1. 114.4 Million – Super Bowl XLIX, NBC (Feb. 2015)
  2. 112.2 Million – Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX (Feb. 2014)
  3. 111.3 Million – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Feb. 2012)
  4. 111.0 Million – Super Bowl XLV, FOX (Feb. 2011)
  5. 108.7 Million – Super Bowl XLVII, CBS (Feb. 2013)
  6. 106.5 Million – Super Bowl XLIV, CBS (Feb. 2010)
  7. 106.0 Million – M.A.S.H. Finale, CBS (Feb. 1983)
  8. 98.7 Million – Super Bowl XLIII, NBC (Feb. 2009)

Ok, so we know that the game was the most-watched, but what about its rating? The game garnered a 47.5 rating with an astounding 71 share meaning 7 out of 10 TV sets were tuned to the Super Bowl. Is this the highest-rated game or program in U.S. history? Not really. The highest-rated Super Bowl remains to be SB XVI on CBS in 1982 with a 49.1/73. But SB XLIX is the highest-rated game since SB XX on NBC in 1986. Here are the highest-rated Big Games in U.S. history:

  1. 49.1/73 – Super Bowl XVI, CBS (Jan. 1982)
  2. 48.6/69 – Super Bowl XVII, NBC (Jan. 1983)
  3. 48.3/70 – Super Bowl XX, NBC (Jan. 1986)
  4. 47.5/71 – Super Bowl XLIX, NBC (Feb. 2015)
  5. 47.2/67 – Super Bowl XII, CBS (Jan. 1978)
  6. 47.1/74 – Super Bowl XIII, NBC (Jan. 1979)
  7. 47.0/71 – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Feb. 2012)
  8. 46.7/69 – Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX (Feb. 2014)
    T9. 46.4/71 – Super Bowl XVIII, CBS (Jan. 1984)
    T9. 46.4/63 – Super Bowl XIX, ABC (Jan. 1985)
    T9. 46.4/69 – Super Bowl XLVII, CBS (Feb. 2013

Now how does Super Bowl XLIX rank in the highest-rated programs of all-time? It’s in the Top Ten, but still far from the the number one rated show of all time, the M*A*S*H series finale in 1983 which garnered an untouchable 60.2 rating. Sports Media Watch has compiled this chart to compare SB XLIX’s rating with the other top-rated shows:

Highest rated shows everIf you streamed the game online, you weren’t alone. Super Bowl XLIX set a streaming record with 1.3 million users, but still doesn’t break the online streaming record of 1.8 million set for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final on ABC.

And for the halftime show featuring the dancing sharks as stars Katy Perry, that also set a record with 118.5 million viewers breaking the previous record of 115.3 set last year for the halftime show with Bruno Mars.

So Super Bowl XLIX has set the standard for next year and we’ll see if Super Bowl 50 on CBS can break the viewership record or will fall short.

[NBC Sports]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

Comments are closed.