Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Viewership [J. Mark English]

This from Reuters:

The Indianapolis Colts' rainswept victory over the Chicago Bears averaged more than 93 million viewers on Sunday, making it the second most-watched Super Bowl and third most-watched U.S. telecast ever, Nielsen Media Research reported.

The 3 1/2-hour CBS broadcast of the National Football League championship from Dolphin Stadium in Miami drew nearly 2.5 million more viewers than last year's Super Bowl matchup, in which the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks, Nielsen said on Monday.

In terms of Super Bowl games, only the 1996 Dallas Cowboys' victory over Pittsburgh posted a bigger TV audience, averaging 94.8 million viewers to rank as the second most-watched U.S. TV broadcast in history.

The February 1983 finale to the long-running CBS sitcom "M*A*S*H" still ranks as the most watched American telecast ever, averaging nearly 106 million viewers.

In an era of ever-increasing fragmentation of TV audiences, the Super Bowl typically stands as the highest-rated program on television each year, and one of the few annual telecasts advertisers can count on to draw viewers on a massive scale.

About 20 advertisers paid as much as $2.6 million for a 30-second commercial spot during Sunday's game, which averaged 93.15 million viewers in all.

Nielsen estimates that nearly 140 million viewers tuned in to all or part of Super Bowl XLI, which featured a half-time performance by Prince.

In terms of household ratings, measuring the percentage of homes with television sets tuned to a particular program, the Colts' 29-to-17 win over the Bears posted a 42.6 rating, up 2 percent from last year. That ranks as the highest-rated Super Bowl in household Nielsens since the 2000 game.

Comments -

Wow, those are some impressive numbers. What puzzles me though, is how bizarre is it that "M*A*S*H" remains as the most viewed telecast in history. I never saw the episode, but how good was it? If anyone saw it please let me know if it was worth the frenzy...

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