Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX Pulls in Largest Audience in U.S. History
Fox Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII, in which the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8, 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.
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. The game earned a 44.0/63 from 9:30-conclusion.
The record-breaking trend also extended to the 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 FOXSports.com. 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.
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.