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.


  • Linda

    The numbers are valid. The average number of viewers (from 7-11 pm) was 94.6 million.

  • JR35

    Surprised with the overall game numbers, given that it wasn’t much of a game. But, nice for Mr. Mars, showing up all past numbers. Any chance we will see 15minute intervals, like we did a couple of years ago? Was nice, because we had an exact figure for the 2012 halftime music show, which took place smack in the 8-8:15 time slot.

  • j s

    The Meadowland locale was a big assist to this awful, lopsided game securing record viewers with more than half of the New York metro viewing area tuned in for two western area teams–the highest there since the 1987 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos earned a 53.4. At least in the preliminary numbers Kansas City had the highest viewership levels, exceeding 58 (no doubt, due to the huge Chiefs/Bronco rivalry which should have the KC area smiling today)

    The game was so dull and bad, I was almost hoping for a sudden blizzard just to liven things up on the field.

  • Guest

    As a Seahawks fan, that was a GREAT game!

  • kb

    Peyton proves again why he’s just a glorified Tony Romo. What an embarrassment. It set a record but imagine if it was close. It would’ve had over 115 million. On another subject, Bruno mars was awesome. He’s really good live which is a breath of fresh air. Beyonce and madonna were mediocre. I’d say Bruno did the best since MJ.

  • ESL

    111 million for the Super Bowl. And Baseball can’t get 20 million for a World Series !

  • Justin

    Seattle had a 92 share in the local market?! Is that a record?

  • Eduardo

    FOX’s 2.9 and NBC 2.8? That little uptick?

  • emmybm15

    Well I’m glad you lot have got Disqus now! As a UK Superbowl viewer, who has seen it 4 consecutive years THIS had to have been the weirdest! My gosh was the Broncos a hot mess! Glad I backed Seahawks, but still wow! It was sort of a good game and I’m glad the viewing figures was record breaking. I don’t know much about American Football but even I understood that was bonkers! No offence to the Broncos fans but your team really didn’t play well!

  • LucAltaiR

    Probably. Also, I suppose the rating number was a bit killed by all the people watching the game in pubs and public places.

  • kb

    No kidding. You don’t even have to know football to know the Broncos were getting abused. To be honest it was embarrassing for the NFL to the international viewers because the Broncos were actually favorites and Peyton Manning is so hyped in the media. DWidh the Patriots made it because Brady always keeps games close. And he’s handsome as well. Lol im a straight manbi swear!

  • emmybm15

    Yeah I knew the Broncos were the favourites, that’s the reason I backed Seahawks. I was trying to not, follow everyone else xD (weird logic, that actually payed off!) all I kept hearing was Manning this, Manning that and I’m like “well this Manning bloke, isn’t living up to hype now is he!?” It was an entertaining game, for all the wrong reasons but entertaining none the less! :D ?? Thank you America, for having such a weird sport! (And I thought Rugby was bonkers xD)

  • Justin Parris

    Its a record average. You know what an average is I trust?

  • Justin Parris

    It was pretty unbelievable over here. Strangers shouting out their windows to each other, the city streets filling with people, and we have a parade set for wednesday. They expect upwards of 300,000 attendees

  • riverrat

    Football is king!

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