One for the record books

Courtesy: New Orleans Times-Picayune

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.

Overall, the overnight household numbers were 46.4/68, the highest rated Super Bowl in this category in 23 years. 

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.