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Super Bowl XLIII Is Most-Watched Ever, per Nielsen

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NEW YORK Sunday's game was the most-watched Super Bowl telecast and the second most-watched broadcast in television history.
 
Based on updated final national ratings, the Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers matchup on NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1 finished with a record 98.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
 
Comparably, that makes it the most-watched Super Bowl telecast ever -- 1.2 million viewers above the 97.5 million who tuned in for the New York Giants vs. New England Patriots one year earlier.
 
Here are the top five rated Super Bowl telecasts:
 
1. Super Bowl XLIII - NBC (2009): 98.7 million
2. Super Bowl XLII - Fox (2008): 97.5 million
3. Super Bowl XXX - NBC (1996): 94.1 million
4. Super Bowl XLI - CBS (2007): 93.2 million
5. Super Bowl XXVII - NBC (1993): 91.0 million
 
This also makes Super Bowl XLIII the second most-watched broadcast in television history (behind the M.A.S.H. finale on CBS in 1983).

NBC is estimating that 147 million tuned in at some point for the game. 
 
Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.
 
This story updates and replaces an earlier item with the final ratings.

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