Super Bowl XLIX: One for the record books


The last-minute nail biter between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots becomes the most-watched program of all time and the tenth-highest rated

Chicago pulls in higher number for Super Bowl XLIX than the Bears’ Super Bowl XLII appearance

Super Bowl XLIX between Seattle and New England set several ratings records as Americans plopped down in front of their couches and watched what turned out to be a good football game.

First of all, NBC’s telecast of the game set an overnight ratings record: 49.7 rating and 72 share, the highest-rated metered market rating of any Super Bowl all time, and was up 4 percent from last year’s Super Bowl on Fox. Super Bowl XLIX also tied the 1994 Winter Olympics face-off between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

In Boston (Pats territory), NBC affiliate WHDH scored a 61.0 household rating/85 share, while Seattle NBC affiliate KING earned a 52.1 rating/89 share.

Among total viewers, Super Bowl XLIX came in as the most-watched television show of all time, clocking in a 114.4 million viewers, peaking at 120.3 viewers in the final half-hour. The game is now ranked the tenth-highest rated program of all time, earning a final rating of 47.5/71. To put this in perspective, the final episode of M*A*S*H from February 28, 1983 still holds the all-time record for the highest rated program of all-time, earning a 60.2/77.

Among adults 18-49, NBC pulled in a 30.9 rating in prime-time (6 to 10 p.m CT).

Locally, NBC-owned WMAQ pulled in a 54.9/72, which put it sixth among all metered markets, beating Seattle and even doing better than the 50.2/77 WBBM-TV earned for Super Bowl XLII, when the Chicago Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts. A blizzard hit the Chicago area and much of the Midwest Sunday, keeping viewers away from Super Bowl parties. Many stayed at home, which may attribute for the higher rating.

Regardless, the number still falls short of what WMAQ earned when the Bears beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XX in 1986 (still holds the record for the highest-rated TV event in Chicago history with over a 63.1/87) and a few Bulls NBA-title clinching games when NBC had NBA rights.

As for post-Super Bowl lead-out program The Blacklist, the James Spader drama drew 26.5 million viewers and a 8.7 rating in the adult 18-49 demo and was the highest entertainment program since last year’s Oscars telecast. While this marked a series-high for the show, it still fell short of recent post-Super Bowl lead-out programming, such as The Voice, which was used three years ago. Blacklist relocates to Thursday night this week opposite Scandal on ABC.

Also, a special Super bowl edition of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon scored 9.83 million viewers from 11:13 p.m.-12:13 a.m. (CT).