Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX is Most-Watched Television Show in U.S. History

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

February 3rd, 2014

Super Bowl 2014 II

via press release:




111.5 Million Viewers Watch on Average;

New Record Surpasses 111.3 for Super Bowl XLVI



Super Bowl Pregame Show since Post-9/11


Game is Also Most-Viewed Live Stream Ever for Single Sports Event



New York – The Seattle Seahawks dominant performance in Super Bowl XLVIII, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8, the largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl in 21 years, was watched by an average audience of 111.5 million people, more than any television program in U.S. history, surpassing the previous mark of 111.3 million set by a much more closely contested Super Bowl XLVI (New York Giants-New England Patriots) on NBC.  The game is also now the most-watched program ever on FOX, breaking the 111.0 million viewer mark the network set for Super Bowl XLV (Green Bay Packers-Pittsburgh Steelers).  Three of the last four Super Bowls set average viewership records.


Super Bowl XLVIII posted a 46.4/69, matching the household rating and share for Super Bowl XLVII (Baltimore-San Francisco) a year ago, according to fast national figures issued today by Nielsen, and both, along with Super Bowl XVIII and XIX tie, as the seventh highest-rated Super Bowls ever.


Interest in the game, the first Super Bowl ever played in an outdoor, cold-weather location, and the nation’s No. 1 media market, was unprecedented.  The rating at kickoff, 44.5/70, ranks as the highest on record, and +12% over the kickoff rating a year ago, suggesting that a more competitive game would have resulted in even higher viewership.  Ratings climbed through the first half and peaked at a 47.9/71 from 7:30-8:00 PM ET as Seattle established a commanding 22-0 halftime lead.  Viewership remained impressively high through the fourth quarter despite the fact that Seattle had the game well in hand.  The game earned a 44.0/63 from 9:30-conclusion, meaning that even in the closing minutes the rating was only 5% lower than it was for the entire game.


The record-breaking trend also extended to the PEPSI SUPER BOWL XLVIII HALFTIME SHOW, with 115.3 million viewers watching Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform. That figure surpasses the 110.8 million delivered by Beyonce last year and the prior record of 114.0 million set by Madonna two years ago.


Live coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII was also available in the U.S. on a Spanish language channel, FOX Deportes, for the first time ever and on digital platforms via FOX Sports GO and FOX Deportes averaged 561,000 viewers, the most-watched non-soccer sports event in Spanish cable history. The live stream averaged 528,000 viewers to become the most-watched live stream of a single sports event in history. The contributions of FOX Deportes and the new media outlets raise total viewing of the Super Bowl on an average minute basis to 112.6 million viewers. (Streaming information reported by Adobe Analytics.)


Locally, Kansas City led all markets with a 58.1/78, followed by Seattle (56.7/92, the market’s best Super Bowl performance ever), Indianapolis (53.9/74), New Orleans (53.2/72), Tulsa (52.9/71), Las Vegas (52.5/75), Portland (52.4/82), Knoxville (52.3/68), Jacksonville (52.0/68) while Denver (51.4/83) and Tampa (51.4/71) round out the Top 10.  Host market New York delivered a 50.5, its best Super Bowl rating since 1987 (Super Bowl XXI: Giants vs. Broncos, 53.4).


The SUPER BOWL PREGAME SHOW rose to a 12-year high by averaging a 12.0/22 and 23.1 million viewers from 2:00 PM to kickoff (6:33 PM ET).  Yesterday’s 12.0/22 is a +20% improvement over last year’s 10.0/20 for CBS’s Super Bowl pregame, and pregame viewing peaked at a 31.1/52 and 68.4 million viewers from 6:00 PM ET to kickoff.


Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday goes down as one of the biggest nights of prime time in FOX history. FOX’s prime time (7:00 – 11:00 PM ET) averaged 94.6 million viewers, the second most-watched night in FOX’s 27-year history (2/6/11, the night of Super Bowl XLV, 100.9 million viewers).  In addition to the Super Bowl itself, FOX got powerful performances from the Super Bowl post-game show (65.4 million) NEW GIRL (25.8 million) and BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (14.8 million).  FOX Research now projects that when final Sunday numbers for all networks become available tomorrow, FOX will leap past NBC to take over the top spot in the 2013-14 Adults 18-49 ratings race season to date.  FOX is projected to average a 2.9 for the season-to-date in Adults 18-49 to NBC’s 2.8.


Social media was ablaze before, during and after Super Bowl XLVIII with 25.3 million total tweets composed by 5.6 million authors.  The most active moments during the game were Percy Harvin’s kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half (429,000 tweets), the conclusion of the Bruno Mars/Red Hot Chili Peppers halftime performance (424,000) and MVP Malcolm Smith’s interception return for a touchdown (300,000). Following the game, activity about the Super Bowl peaked at over 500,000 tweets shortly after 10:00 PM ET.


Super Bowl XLVIII caps a history-making year in the two-decade history of FOX Sports. Over the last 12 months FOX has posted viewership increases for every one of its marquee events including the Daytona 500, MLB All-Star Game, League Championship Series, World Series, Big Ten Championship, NFL regular season, NFC Playoffs and now the single most-watched show of all time, Super Bowl XLVIII, with all of this coming alongside successful launches of FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, and FOX Sports Go.


  • soggybiscuit

    Disqus !!!

  • CrimTV

    ooh this is new

  • Pablo Troncoso

    I was hoping FOX would say on their press release how New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine did in some other demos… oh, well

  • 69RoadRunner

    Imagine if the game had been a good one!

  • juarhela

    Disqus on TVBTN – finally!!!

  • Babar Suhail


  • David Howell

    Those numbers suggest that we’re going to see another one at the Meadowlands, especially given the lack of snow this time (it wasn’t even the coldest SB ever).

    Will be very interesting to compare the last three SBs by the half-hourly numbers given the trajectories of those games.

  • AdWhois

    Right…. So the initials were off by 15MILLION?

  • We Can’t Stop

    Wow, the initial estimates were way off.

  • diegodaily

    Wow, it is amazing how it changed from preliminars, in which were 92-96 million viewers. Between 15-20 millions up.

  • cgmv123

    You did this America!

  • Ultima

    Which shouldn’t be surprising at all. The preliminary ratings measured who was watching FOX between 7:00-10:00pm ET and 7:00-10:00pm PT. The updated ratings measured who was watching FOX between 6:33-9:58pm ET and 3:33-6:58pm PT.

  • cgmv123

    See Ultima’s reply.

  • Andrew

    They just make this claim every year to make the claim. No way was a record number of people watching the game by the time the second half rolled around. Really takes the validity out of these numbers.

  • sixseasonsandamovie

    Imagine if this was a good game instead of a blowout.

  • Richard Hogenson

    200,000,000 did not watch the Super Bowl.

  • Ultima

    No, but thanks for illustrating that you don’t understand what these numbers represent.

  • Japanese Business Man

    Whoa. Good for FOX. I feel like B99 and NG should’ve been switched around though.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    I just watched until the halftime show then I watched SNL with Melissa, Super Bowl would be more interesting to me if Patriots had been played.

  • MRASoldier

    Good. Was so tired of hearing the Superbowl needs East Coast teams to be popular. The rest of the country doesn’t revolve their lives around the East

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures