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Super Bowl XLIII Most-Watched Ever

superbowlxliiilogo-010909NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLIII Sunday night was actually the most-watched ever, and second most-watched television telecast of all-time drawing 98.73 million viewers (when taking into account people who watched some or all of the program, that number climbs to a TV record of 151.6 million).  It was originally believed the program was only the second most-watched ever.

A portion of NBC’s press release follows after the jump.

NBC’S COVERAGE OF SUPER BOWL XLIII IS THE MOST-VIEWED U.S. TELECAST IN HISTORY WITH 151.6 MILLION WATCHING ALL OR SOME OF THE TELECAST; WITH AN AVERAGE 98.7 MILLION, IT’S THE MOST-WATCHED SUPER BOWL EVER

NBC’S AVERAGE 89.9 MILLION VIEWERS IN PRIMETIME SUNDAY NIGHT IS THE BIGGEST VIEWERSHIP FOR ANY NETWORK ON ANY NIGHT IN NIELSEN PEOPLE-METER HISTORY

SUNDAY’S POST-SUPER BOWL TELECAST OF ‘THE OFFICE’ SETS NEW SERIES RECORDS, MORE THAN DOUBLING THE SHOW’S PREVIOUS HIGHS

‘THE OFFICE’ DELIVERS THE HIGHEST 18-49 RATING AND BIGGEST OVERALL VIEWERSHIP FOR ANY NBC ENTERTAINMENT SERIES SINCE MAY 2004

ON TUESDAY, ‘THE BIGGEST LOSER’ ATTRACTS THE LARGEST VIEWERSHIP FOR ANY EPISODE OF THE SERIES, EXCLUDING PREMIERES AND FINALES, IN MORE THAN FOUR YEARS, DESPITE COMPETITION FROM ‘AMERICAN IDOL’

‘LOSER’ ADDS 65 PERCENT IN 18-49 AND 49 PERCENT IN TOTAL VIEWERS FROM ITS FIRST HALF-HOUR TO ITS FOURTH, TO RANK #1 IN ITS FINAL HOUR IN 18-49 AND OTHER KEY MEASURES

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – February 3, 2009 – Paced by NBC Sports’ telecast of Super Bowl XLIII, the most-watched Super Bowl ever and most-viewed telecast in U.S. television history, NBC won the week in all key measures, averaging a 7.8 rating, 20 share in adults 18-49 and 21.6 million viewers overall for the week of January 26-February 1, according to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.

NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday goes into the record books as the most-viewed U.S. television broadcast in history, with 151.6 million persons watching all or some of the telecast (at least six minutes).

In average viewership, it’s the second most-watched television broadcast in history, with its audience of 98.7 million viewers overall for the game’s full duration. That average 98.7 million for Super Bowl XLIII tops last year’s Super Bowl XLII, previously the most-watched Super Bowl (97.5 million). The 1983 series finale of “M*A*S*H” averaged 106 million viewers and is the most-watched television broadcast in history based on average viewership, however the 151.6 million persons who watched all or some of Sunday’s game top the estimated 122 million who watched all or some of that “M*A*S*H” finale.

Paced by coverage of Super Bowl XLIII, NBC averaged 89.9 million viewers in primetime Sunday from 7-11 p.m. ET. This marks the highest viewership for any network on any primetime night in people meter history. In adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 34.0 rating Sunday night from 7-11 p.m., marking NBC’s best performance for any primetime night in more than 11 years (since Sunday, Jan. 25, 1998, 35.5).