Super Bowl Sets TV Viewing Record


HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – A record-setting audience for Super Bowl XLVIII gave
Fox the most-watched week of prime-time television programming since NBC aired
the first full week of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Fox averaged 30.14 million viewers for its prime-time programming
between Jan. 27 and Sunday, the most since NBC averaged 32.16 million viewers
between July 30-Aug. 5, 2012, according to live-plus-same-day figures released
today by Nielsen.
CBS averaged 28 million viewers for the week that included last year’s
Super Bowl. However, Fox, unlike CBS, rarely programs the 10-11 p.m. hour,
which helps boost its weekly average.
Fox’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII averaged 112.19 million viewers,
breaking the previous record for the most-watched television program in U.S.
history — 111.35 million for NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVI between the New
York Giants and New England Patriots in 2012.
This is the fourth time in five years that a Super Bowl telecast has set
the record as the most-watched program in U.S. television history. The record
had been held by the 1983 finale of the CBS comedy “MASH” until CBS’ coverage
of Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans
Saints averaged 106.48 million viewers, topping the previous record of 105.97
Following 28 minutes of postgame programming on Sunday night, an average
of 26.28 million viewers watched an episode of the Fox comedy “New Girl,”
more than doubling its previous high of 10.3 million for its series premiere on
Sept. 20, 2011.
“New Girl’s” 11.4 rating among viewers ages 18-49 was the highest for
a comedy since the finale of NBC’s “Friends” on May 6, 2004. Viewers ages 18-
49 are targeted by Fox, ABC and NBC and coveted by advertisers because they
watch less television than average and are harder to reach.
The episode of the first-year comedy“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which
followed “New Girl,” averaged 15.1 million viewers, more than doubled its
previous high of 6.2 million for its premiere Sept. 17. It was not included
among on the list of the week’s most-watched prime-time programs because it
mainly aired after the 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time end of prime time.
Outside of its Sunday programming, Fox’s most-watched programs were the
Wednesday and Thursday editions of “American Idol,” which were seventh and
10th for the week, averaging 12.73 million and 11.42 million, respectively.
In a week where ABC, CBS and NBC eschewed airing original programming
against the Super Bowl and their Tuesday lineups were scrambled because of
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, CBS finished second with
7.81 million viewers, followed by NBC (4.75 million) and ABC (4.56 million).
CBS had each of the eight most-watched prime-time scripted programs
behind “New Girl,” topped by “The Big Bang Theory,” which was fifth overall
with 19.05 million viewers.
NBC’s most-watched program was “The Blacklist,” 15th for the week,
averaging 10.17 million viewers. “The Bachelor” was ABC’s most-watched
program, finishing 21st for the week, averaging 8.61 million viewers.
A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” was the  most-watched cable program for the third
consecutive week, averaging 7.49 million viewers, putting it 25th among all
prime-time and broadcast programs.
USA Network was the most-watched cable network for the second
consecutive week, averaging 2.19 million viewers for its prime-time
programming. The first two of its three hourlong segments of the professional
wrestling program “WWE Raw” finished second and third among the week’s prime-
time cable programs.
The week’s most-watched Spanish-language program was the Monday episode
of the Univision telenovela “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo,” which averaged 4.42
million viewers, 61st among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network,
averaging 2.94 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.42 million,
followed by UniMas (960,000), Estrella TV (200,000), MundoFox (120,000) and
Azteca America (90,000).
The “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” was the most-watched
network nightly newscast for the 229th consecutive week and 276th time in the
past 277 weeks, averaging 10.47 million viewers, followed by ABC’s “World News
with Diane Sawyer” (9.4 million) and the “CBS Evening News” (8.36 million).
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s coverage of
Super Bowl XLVIII, its eight-minute postgun postgame show and 20-minute second
postgame show and “New Girl”; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blue
Bloods”; the Wednesday episode of Fox’s “American Idol”;  CBS’ “NCIS” and
“The Millers”; and the Thursday “American Idol” episode.