Super Bowl Ratings: CBS Coverage Down From Last Two Years

By Alex Weprin 

Another year, another huge ratings night for the Super Bowl.

CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl XLVII delivered an estimated 108.4 million viewers, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen. That is not a record audience, and is short of the last two Super Bowls. That said, it makes last night’s game the third most-watched Super Bowl of all time (and the third most-watched event in TV history), behind only the 2011 and 2012 games. In 2012 111.3 million people watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots on NBC, narrowly beating out the 2011 Super Bowl on FOX, when 111 million watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Metered market ratings pegged the game at drawing a 48.1 rating, up from last year. That did not include coverage during the blackout, which was classified separately.


The Super Bowl has firmly entrenched itself as the biggest TV event in the U.S., easily surpassing any regularly-scheduled TV show, as well as special events like the 2012 election. According to Nielsen 77 million people watched the 2012 election, across 13 networks. By comparison, the Super Bowl averaged 108 million on exactly one network: CBS.