Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The Super Bowl Takes The Ratings By Storm
The New York Giants’ thrilling win over New England was the most-watched Super Bowl ever with 97.5 million viewers, a total that is second only to the M-A-S-H finale audience, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. The game eclipsed the previous Super Bowl record of 94.08 million, set when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in 1996. The final M-A-S-H episode, which drew 106 million viewers in 1983, is the only other show in American broadcast history watched by more people.
Sunday’s game had almost all the ingredients Fox could have hoped for: a tight contest with an exciting finish involving a team that was attempting to make history as the NFL’s first unbeaten team since 1972. But the Giants ended New England’s bid for perfection, 17-14. Throughout the game, the teams were never separated by more than a touchdown.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was to appear on David Letterman’s Late Show on Monday, also won bragging rights over his brother: Last year’s win by Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts was seen by 93.2 million people, now the third most popular Super Bowl.
Fox, a division of News Corp., charged $2.7 million for 30 seconds of advertising time on the game. An eye-popping 81 percent of all TV sets on in the Boston area Sunday were tuned in to the game. In New York, the audience share was 67 percent. The audience peaked between 9:30 and 10 p.m. ET — the fourth quarter — with 105.7 million people watching, Nielsen said.