Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts brought down one of television’s most durable records.
The game drew an astonishing 106.5 million viewers on CBS – breaking the record set by the February 28, 1983 episode of M*A*S*H titled Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen, which closed out the series’ eleven-season run. It drew 106 million viewers.
In the fast nationals, the adult 18-49 tally for the Super Bowl was 34.9/68.
The record-breaking total viewer mark is quite remarkable in an era of fragmented viewership, where the top-rated show on television can grab around 30 million.
In the two teams home markets, New Orleans’ WWL-TV drew the largest overnight household rating and share (53.7/73) while Indianapolis’ WISH-TV finished fourth (51.8/69), behind Washington, D.C. and Nashville.
The Saints upset the Colts for their first Super Bowl win in the 42-year history of the franchise – one jokingly known as “The Ain’ts” for so many years.
Meanwhile, the Super Bowl lead-out – a new reality show titled Undercover Boss drew 38.6 million viewers – making it the most-watched reality TV premiere of all time and the most-watched post Super Bowl show in more than 20 years. The series settles into its regular 8 p.m. (CT) time slot this Sunday.
In a surprise to some who were watching, Undercover Boss was not shot in high-definition.