note: this measure is the number of people who watched at least six minutes of the game and not the average viewership for the whole game (which did not set a record).
via press release:
RECORD 164.1 MILLION FANS TUNE IN TO SUPER
BOWL XLVII ON CBS
SUPER BOWLS RANK AS TV’S TOP 22 SHOWS ALL-TIME
The 2012 NFL season concluded with another television milestone as Super Bowl XLVII on CBS reached a total audience of 164.1 million viewers (6:32-8:41 and 9:11-10:47 PM, ET), making it the most-viewed show in U.S. television history according to The Nielsen Company.
The 49ers-Ravens championship game topped the previous record of 162.9 million total viewers for Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers) and marks the fifth consecutive Super Bowl to reach a total audience of more than 150 million viewers. Super Bowls account for the 22 most-watched programs in history in terms of total audience.
Most-Watched TV Programs, Total Viewers
|Super Bowl XLVII (49ers-Ravens), 2/3/13||164.1 million|
|Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers), 2/6/11||162.9 million|
|Super Bowl XLVI (Giants-Patriots), 2/5/12||159.2 million|
|Super Bowl XLIV (Colts-Saints), 2/7/10||153.4 million|
|Super Bowl XLIII (Cardinals-Steelers), 2/1/09||151.6 million|
Source: NFL, The Nielsen Company
In addition, an average of 108.4 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLVII – ranking third all-time.