via press release:
SUPER BOWL XLVI MOST-WATCHED TV SHOW OF ALL TIME
166.8 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS
SUPER BOWLS RANK AS TV’S TOP 21 SHOWS
The 2011 NFL season concluded with another television milestone as Super Bowl XLVI on NBC reached a total audience of 166.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in U.S. television history according to The Nielsen Company.
The Giants-Patriots championship game topped the previous record of 162.9 million total viewers set last year (Packers-Steelers in Super Bowl XLV) and marks the fifth consecutive record-setting total audience for the Super Bowl. Super Bowls account for the 21 most-watched programs in history in terms of total audience.
Most-Watched TV Programs, Total Viewers
|Super Bowl XLVI (Giants-Patriots), 2/5/12||166.8 million|
|Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers), 2/6/11||162.9 million|
|Super Bowl XLIV (Colts-Saints), 2/7/10||153.4 million|
|Super Bowl XLIII (Cardinals-Steelers), 2/1/09||151.6 million|
|Super Bowl XLII (Giants-Patriots), 2/3/08||148.3 million|
Source: NFL, The Nielsen Company
In addition, a record average of 111.3 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLVI – topping the previous mark of 111 million for Super Bowl XLV.