Super Bowl ratings: One for the record books

Seahawks winTribune Broadcasting came out as biggest winner of all Рfour of its stations placed in the top ten most-watched markets 

If you thought the audience would dwindle due to the Seattle Seahawks’ blowout of the Denver Broncos in last Sunday’s Super Bowl, think again.

To the surprise of many (and to the astonishment of others), Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox turned out to be the most-watched event in television history, drawing a final tally of 112.2 million viewers, eclipsing the mark set by Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, on NBC (New England Patriots vs. New York Giants.) The game averaged a 46.7 household rating and a 69 share, up slightly from what CBS earned last year.

Among Nielsen’s overnight markets, there was another surprise – the top-rated market wasn’t Seattle or Denver – but Kansas City, whose Fox affiliate (WDAF) earned a 58.1/78. Seattle’s KCPQ followed followed with a 56.7/92, and in third place was Indianapolis – Peyton Manning’s former home market when he played for the Colts – where WXIN earned a 53.9/74. Denver’s KDVR came in with a 51.4/83.

All four stations are owned by Tribune Broadcasting – making this a huge financial boon for the Chicago-based station group as they accounted for four of the ten highest-rated markets. Tribune purchased KDVR and WDAF as part of their Local TV LLC acquisition last year.

Host DMA New York – home to WNYW – averaged a 50.5 household rating, the highest-rated Super Bowl in the market in 27 years.

In Chicago, the game averaged a 44.8/68. 

Meanwhile, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers halftime show (which actually got rave reviews as opposed to past Super Bowl Halftime Shows), drew a whopping 115.3 rating, the highest rating ever for a halftime show.

The Super Bowl also the most streamed event in U.S. history, averaging 528,000 viewers per minute, peaking at 1.1 million at 8:11 Central Time.

Meanwhile, the two Super Bowl lead-outs (New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine) both reached historic highs. New Girl (with Special Guest Star Prince), finished with 26.3 million viewers and a 11.4/27 in adults 18-49 – the highest rating for any sitcom in six years and a huge shot in the arm for the declining sitcom, which was beaten in its Tuesday night recently by ABC rookie sitcom The Goldbergs.

After New Girl was Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which scored a season high 15 million viewers and a 6.9/18 in adults 18-49.

And if you weren’t interested in football, you had plenty of company: Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl X drew a total of 13.5 million viewers Sunday for the twelve-hour marathon, making it the top-rated cable show of the day.