UPDATED ON 2/3/2009 AT 5:35 PM:
I’ve edited my analysis to reflect the final national numbers and have edited in the final numbers for NBC and ABC, the two networks that aired original programming for the evening.
According to final national numbers, Super Bowl XLIII on NBC drew 98.73 million viewers and a 36.7/72 rating/share among adults 18-49, making the telecast the most-watched Super Bowl of all-time, and second most-watched program of all time. Overall, the game was up 1% or 1.28M among viewers, while down slightly among adults 18-49 from last year’s game (-2%) over last year’s numbers (97.45M viewers and a 37.5/73 A18-49 rating/share).
Meanwhile, The Office drew a series high 22.91 million viewers and an 11.0/28 rating/share among adults 18-49. Those are impressive numbers, but it rates on the lower end of post Super Bowl shows, and is in fact the lowest rated such episode since ABC’s 2003 airing of Alias (17.36M).
Elsewhere on the evening, the only original programming came from ABC (which placed third on the evening) who aired Wipeout Bowl I: Cheerleaders vs. Couch Potatoes which managed to actually improve upon its season one finale by a healthy 20% among adults 18-49 (from a 2.0 to a 2.4 rating). It’s performance among viewers was flat (+1%).
The non-Super Bowl winner on the evening (with the exception of The Office) was a repeat of The Mentalist on CBS. While the show skewed older, it managed a very healthy overall audience.
Fox was fourth with repeats of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and animated comedy repeats, while The CW was a dead last with a repeat of Jericho and the movie Throw Momma from the Train, each of which failed to drew more than 700,000 viewers. My full analysis follows after the jump.NBC finished in first place for the evening with a 35.0/54 household rating/share, 76.36 million viewers and a 29.2/59 rating/share among adults 18-49.
3.4/5 HH Rating/Share [#3]
5.32M Viewers [#3]
1.3/3 A18-49 Rating [#3]
- Note: Because of the live sporting event, the following numbers, for NBC only, are based on the final national data.
- 6:32 p.m: It was unclear at first, but when the dust settled, Super Bowl XLIII: Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (39.0/59 HH rating/share, 89.15M viewers, 33.3/66 A18-49 rating/share) is now the most-watched Super Bowl in the history of the event (and the second most-watched program of all time). The game, which was one of the better ones we’ve had in quite some time, especially that final quarter, improved by 1% or 1.28M among viewers over last year’s then-record audience, despite slight declines among both households (-3%) and adults 18-49 (-2%).
Last year’s numbers numbers (2/3/2008 – FOX – Super Bowl XLII: NY Giants vs. New England Patriots):
Households – 43.1/65 to 42.0/64 (-3%)
Viewers – 97.45M to 98.73M (+1%/+1.28M)
Adults 18-49 – 37.5/73 to 36.7/72 (-2%)
Last week’s numbers (Dateline):
Households – 6.0/9
Viewers – 9.90M
Adults 18-49 – 2.3/6
- 10:16 p.m: Interestingly enough, Super Bowl XLIII: Postgame (25.7/42 HH rating/share, 57.40M viewers, 23.5/51 A18-49 rating/share) saw somewhat significant year-on-year declines, dropping double digits among all three measures.
Last year’s numbers numbers (2/3/2008 – FOX – Super Bowl XLII: Postgame):
Households – 30.1/47 to 25.7/42 (-15%)
Viewers – 63.93M to 57.40M (-10%/-6.53M)
Adults 18-49 – 26.6/54 to 23.5/51 (-12%)
- 10:40 p.m: Considering its normal audience, The Office (11.6/21 HH rating/share, 22.91M viewers, 11.0/28 A18-49 rating/share) did incredibly well, improving by a massive 162% or 14.15M among viewers and 139% among adults 18-49. However, as I noted in the opening paragraph, in terms of overall audience, this was actually the least-watched post-Super Bowl program since ABC aired Alias after the big show in 2003.
Episode-to-episode numbers (THUR; 1/22/2009):
Households – 4.9/7 to 11.6/21 (+137%)
Viewers – 8.76M to 22.91M (+162%/+14.15M)
Adults 18-49 – 4.6/11 to 11.0/28 (+139%)
For comparison sakes, I’ve gone ahead and assembled the numbers from the past three shows that occupied the post-Super Bowl slot (Fox’s House, CBS’s Criminal Minds and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy). As you’ll notice, in terms of percentage increases, the show falls on the high end, but in terms of total audience, it’s a weaker performance. The best measure will be to see how it performs in its first post-Super Bowl outing this Thursday.
House – 2008 (FOX) — 2/3/2008
Households – 12.9/19 to 15.7/27 (+22%)
Viewers – 22.56M to 29.05M (+29%/+6.49M)
Adults 18-49 – 8.7/20 to 12.9/31 (+48%)
Criminal Minds – 2007 (CBS) — 2/4/2007
Households – 8.3/12 to 15.1/26 (+82%)
Viewers – 12.99M to 23.31M (+79%/+10.32M)
Adults 18-49 – 3.3/7 to 10.0/25 (+203%)
Grey’s Anatomy – 2006 (ABC) — 2/5/2006
Households – 11.8/19 to 21.0/34 (+78%)
Viewers – 18.44M to 37.88M (+105%/+19.44M)
Adults 18-49 – 8.3/19 to 16.5/33 (+99%)
CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 3.1/5 household rating/share and 4.62 million viewers, but was fourth among adults 18-49 with a 0.8/2 rating/share.
18.6/29 HH Rating/Share [#1]
33.68M Viewers [#1]
12.0/29 A18-49 Rating [#1]
- 7:00 p.m.: CBS Reports: The Road to the White House-REPEAT (2.1/3 HH rating/share, 3.07M viewers, 0.4/1 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (60 Minutes):
Households – 8.9/15
Viewers – 14.21M
Adults 18-49 – 2.4/7
- 8:00 p.m.: Cold Case-REPEAT (3.2/5 HH rating/share, 4.72M viewers, 0.7/1 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (Cold Case):
Households – 8.2/13
Viewers – 13.26M
Adults 18-49 – 2.5/6
- 9:00 p.m.: The Unit-REPEAT (2.6/4 HH rating/share, 3.89M viewers, 0.7/1 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (Hallmark Hall of Fame: Loving Leah):
Households – 8.0/12
Viewers – 11.74M
Adults 18-49 – 2.2/5
- 10:00 p.m.: The Mentalist-REPEAT (4.5/7 HH rating/share, 6.80M viewers, 1.4/3 A18-49 rating/share). I usually don’t comment on repeats, but I must comment on this performance by The Mentalist. It was the second most-watched non-sports-related program for the evening (behind The Office) and grew a remarkable 75% among viewers and 100% among adults 18-49 from its lead-in. If its amazing first-run numbers weren’t proof enough, CBS has a very nice hit on their hands.
ABC finished in third place for the evening with a 2.4/4 household rating/share and 4.14 million viewers, but managed a second place finish among adults 18-49 with a 1.4/3 rating/share.
5.9/9 HH Rating/Share [#2]
9.30M Viewers [#2]
3.0/7 A18-49 Rating [#2]
- Note: Because of the non-standard starting times for some of their programming, the following numbers, for ABC only, are based on the final national data.
- 7:00 p.m.: America’s Funniest Home Videos-REPEAT (2.3/4 HH rating/share, 3.61M viewers, 0.9/2 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (America’s Funniest Home Videos):
Households – 5.0/8
Viewers – 8.58M
Adults 18-49 – 2.6/7
- 8:10 p.m.: Wipeout-REPEAT (2.1/3 HH rating/share, 3.75M viewers, 1.3/2 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition):
Households – 6.7/10
Viewers – 11.59M
Adults 18-49 – 4.1/10
- 9:00 p.m.: Wipeout-REPEAT (2.1/3 HH rating/share, 3.66M viewers, 1.4/3 A18-49 rating/share).
- 10:11 p.m.: Wipeout Bowl I: Cheerleaders vs. Couch Potatoes (3.3/6 HH rating/share, 6.03M viewers, 2.4/5 A18-49 rating/share). Considering the extremely strong competition from the Super Bowl, a special airing of Wipeout managed to grow by a strong 20% among adults 18-49 over its last newly aired episode (which was the season one finale). The show also grew slightly among viewers (+1% or 0.07M). It’s hard to predict what ABC expected, but I certainly wouldn’t see the fault of ABC doing another one of these specials next year (in the event Wipeout is still a reliable program–it’s proven to be more effective in the summer than during the fall).
Episode-to-episode numbers (TUES; 9/16/2008 – first season finale):
Households – 3.5/6 to 3.3/6 (-6%)
Viewers – 5.96M to 6.03M (+1%/+0.07M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.0/6 to 2.4/5 (+20%)
FOX followed in fourth place for the evening with a 1.5/2 household rating/share and 2.51 million viewers, but was third among adults 18-49 with a 1.0/2 rating/share.
2.6/4 HH Rating/Share [#4]
4.20M Viewers [#4]
1.8/4 A18-49 Rating [#4]
- 7:00 p.m.: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?-REPEAT (1.62M viewers, 0.4/1 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?):
Households – 2.1/3
Viewers – 3.25M
Adults 18-49 – 1.1/3
- 8:00 p.m.: The Simpsons-REPEAT (2.55M viewers, 1.1/2 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (The Simpsons):
Households – 3.1/5
Viewers – 5.74M
Adults 18-49 – 2.7/7
- 8:30 p.m.: American Dad-REPEAT (2.28M viewers, 1.0/2 A18-49 rating/share).
- 9:00 p.m.: Family Guy-REPEAT (3.73M viewers, 1.7/3 A18-49 rating/share).
- 9:30 p.m.: American Dad-REPEAT (3.28M viewers, 1.5/3 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (American Dad):
Households – 3.3/5
Viewers – 5.72M
Adults 18-49 – 2.7/6
The CW was left in fifth place with a 0.4/1 household rating/share, 0.67 million viewers and a 0.2/0 rating/share among adults 18-49.
0.7/1 HH Rating/Share [#5]
1.07M Viewers [#5]
0.4/1 A18-49 Rating [#5]
- 7:00 p.m.: Jericho-REPEAT (630,000 viewers, 0.2/0 A18-49 rating/share).
- 8:00 p.m.: Movie: Throw Momma From the Train-REPEAT (696,000 viewers, 0.2/0 A18-49 rating/share).
Last week’s numbers (Movie: AntiTrust-REPEAT):
Households – 0.5/1
Viewers – 0.77M
Adults 18-49 – 0.3/1
Note: Network average numbers from the week prior are based on fast national data. Comparison’s from the week prior (or episode-to-episode, etc.) on specific shows are based on final national data. Ratings for the current day are based on fast nationals. (Expect all three scenarios to be the case at all times, unless otherwise noted). The final rating for first-run episodes that aired this evening will be reported the following week. So for example, the final rating for tonight’s episode of “Wipeout Bowl I: Cheerleaders vs. Couch Potatoes” will be reported in next weeks report for Sunday, February 8, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast national ratings, numbers may increase or decrease when the final nationals are released.