Super Bowl 50 falls short of viewership record


But 111.9 million viewers is pretty darn good

The Golden Anniversary of the Super Bowl from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. drew incredible numbers – though the game had a lot to be desired.

According to Nielsen, the Super Bowl matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers drew a final tally of 111.9 viewers – not a record, but still ranked as one of the most watched programs of all time, finishing behind Super Bowl 48 (112.2 million) and Super Bowl 49 (114.4 million). The game peaked at 115.5 million viewers.

The metered market ratings for Super Bowl 50 were at a 49.0 household rating and a 72 share. In Denver, the game scored a 54.1/82 on CBS-owned KCNC – the highest-rated Super Bowl locally since 1995. In Charlotte – home of the Carolina Panthers, WBTV scored a 55.9 rating.

In Chicago, the game drew a 47.5/72.

Among adults 18-49, the game registered a 34.1/73. In all, Super Bowl 50 earned a final household rating of 46.6.

In terms of streaming, CBS drew an additional 3.96 million unique viewers via their live stream, available on platforms such as Roku, XBox One, Apple TV, and on It was a complete simulcast of the linear TV feed, complete with the same commercials. ESPN Deportes drew 472,000 viewers for its Spanish-language broadcast.

In Canada airing on CTV, Super Bowl 50 drew 7.3 million viewers, down from the 8.2 million viewers Super Bwl XLIX earned last year.

As for the game, the Broncos won their third Super Bowl title defeating the heavily-favored Panthers 24-10, with QB Peyton Manning earning his second Super Bowl ring. His first came in 2007 when he was with the Indianapolis Colts.

Meanwhile, Carolina QB Cam Newton was ripped by fans and media alike for his behavior after the game, including walking out of the post-game press conference. Some fans and sports talk show callers defended Newton, saying “he’ll mature into a man” (excuse me, he’s 26. Isn’t he a man already?) Also of note is the media’s over-the-top reaction. Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez didn’t get as much grief as Newton did when faced with questions over the LaQuan McDonald shooting.

As for the post-game entertainment, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert became the first non-primetime program to land a plush spot out of the Super Bowl. Colbert earned an metered market overnight rating of 11.2/21, marking the third-lowest number for a Super Bowl lead-out program only ahead of Elementary and Alias. However, Colbert drew 21.1 million viewers -perhaps the largest number of viewers for any late-night talk show since Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show farewell in 1992.

After local news (where WBBM drew more viewers than average), a special edition of The Late Late Show With James Corden drew a 3.5/10 household rating/share.