Despite showcasing the biggest blowout in two decades, Sunday night’s Super Bowl was the most-watched broadcast in American television history.
According to final ratings from Fox Sports, Super Bowl XLVIII drew a remarkable audience of 111.5-million U.S. viewers, which officially makes the game the highest-rated U.S. telecast of all time.
The previous U.S. ratings champion was the Super Bowl XLVI in 2011, which garnered 111.3-million viewers.
The fact that the game’s result was decided early in the 43-8 victory by the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos had some experts predicting that Super Bowl ratings would take a nosedive.
In becoming the new ratings champion, Super Bowl XLVIII has set a new ratings plateau: The previous five Super Bowls are now the five most-watched programs in U.S. broadcast history (the long-ago champion, the 1983 finale episode of M*A*S*H now moves to sixth place).
And as much as American viewers love football, it appears they love Bruno Mars even more: Sunday’s halftime show also set a record with 115.3-million viewers watching Mars perform with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The halftime ratings record trumps the 110.8-million viewers for Beyonce’s performance last year and the previous record of 114.0-million viewers set by Madonna two years ago.
On Canadian television, Sunday’s Super Bowl game drew an average audience of eight-million viewers from the simulcast on CTV (7.3-million viewers) and French-language broadcaster RDS (610,000 viewers).