Sunday’s telecast of the Denver Broncos’ 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on CBS has delivered the second highest overnight rating on record for the Super Bowl — behind only last year.
According to Nielsen, Super Bowl 50 averaged a 49.0 household rating/73 share in the 56 metered markets across the country, peaking with a 51.0/73 for the final 15 minutes (10-10:15 p.m. ET). The game was neither a thing of beauty nor a nail-biter in the closing seconds, but the late uptick in the ratings suggests viewers wanted to witness the coronation of Peyton Manning in what is likely to be his final game as an NFL quarterback.
Last year’s game on NBC between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks averaged a 49.7 household rating in the overnights, which translated into an all-time record national audience of 114.4 million viewers.
Nielsen will issue total-viewer estimates for the game and post-game programs later today. The Super Bowl has established all time U.S. viewership records with five of its last six contests, and there’s still a shot that last night’s game could eke ahead of last year’s in the finals.
In the metered-market overnights, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” averaged roughly an 11.2 household rating, or more than double its previous high (4.9) set with its premiere last September. “The Late Late Show with James Corden” averaged roughly a 3.5 household rating in the overnights, an all-time high for any “Late Late Show” telecast.
Digital ratings for the game are expected to shatter records, as this year’s Super Bowl was available free — for the first time — on over-the-top Internet devices like Apple TV and Roku. All the ads in the Super Bowl TV broadcast were carried in the digital streams as well, marking another first.
RECENT SUPER BOWL OVERNIGHTS
2016 — Denver-Carolina (CBS) …………… 49.0
2015 — New England-Seattle (NBC) ……. 49.7
2014 — Seattle-Denver (Fox) ……………… 47.6
2013 — Baltimore-San Francisco (CBS) .. 48.1
2012 — NY Giants-New England (NBC) .. 47.8