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.