Sunday’s matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints broke the record books, outperforming the prior high set by the series finale of sitcom M*A*S*H in February 1983.
Super Bowl XLIV averaged a mammoth 106.48 million viewers, according to the preliminary national results from Nielsen Media Research, building by 8 percent from the year-ago Pittsburgh/Arizona matchup (98.73 million on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009).
Here are the five most-watched Super Bowl telecasts historically:
Super Bowl XLIV (CBS, Feb. 7, 2010), New Orleans/Indianapolis: 106.48 million
Super Bowl XLIII (NBC, Feb. 1, 2009), Arizona/Pittsburgh: 98.73 million
Super Bowl XLII (Fox, Feb. 3, 2008): NY Giants/New England: 97.45 million
Super Bowl XXXX (NBC, Jan. 28, 1996): Dallas Pittsburgh: 94.08 million
Super Bowl XLI (CBS, Feb. 4, 2007): Chicago/Indianapolis: 93.18 million