They might be giants, indeed.
Super Bowl XLVI averaged 111.3 million viewers on Sunday (February 5) night, becoming the most-watched program in American TV history. The showdown between the Giants and Patriots toppled the storied record of 111.0 million viewer, set by last year’s Super Bowl on FOX.
Last year’s Super Bowl, in turn, shattered the record set the previous year by Super Bowl XLIV on CBS, the game that finally broke the long-standing “M.A.S.H.” finale record.
Sunday’s game was also the highest-rated Super Bowl in 26 years, with a 47.0 rating and a 71 share, and the top Super Bowl in the key demographic of adults 18-49 in 16 years with a 40.5 rating.
With the game going down to the wire and another Eli Manning come-from-behind drive, Super Bowl XLVI peaked between 9:30 and 9:58 ET with an average audience of 117.7 million viewers.
Want more data? The halftime show featuring Madonna was the most-watched halftime show in Super Bowl history with 114.0 million viewers, topping last year’s Black Eyed Peas performance, which drew 110.3 million viewers.
It’ll surprise nobody that, ratings-wise, Boston was the top market for the Super Bowl, with a 56.7 rating/81 share. Indianapolis, which hosted the game, was a surprisingly close second with a 56.4/79. The New York market, far larger than either Boston or Indianapolis, was far lower with a 49.7/74.
The Big Game also provided a big lift for “The Voice,” which averaged 37.6 million viewers and a 16.3 rating among adults 18-49 airing after the Super Bowl. The second season premiere of the singing talent show became the highest-rated entertainment program among adults 18-49 since the “Grey’s Anatomy” post-Super Bowl episode from 2006. Among young viewers, “The Voice” was up a whopping 47 percent over the 11.1 key demo rating for last year’s “Glee” episode.