It had all the ingredients necessary to make it the most-watched event in U.S. television history, but a lopsided result brought down the overall ratings for Sunday’s telecast of the Super Bowl on Fox, which nonetheless still delivered monster numbers.
Fox also used the Super Bowl to funnel new viewers into comedies “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine,” with the former (10:23-10:54 p.m. ET) averaging an 11.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 25.6 million viewers overall — the best numbers for any scripted entertainment on television since “Glee” did an 11.2 following the Super Bowl three years ago. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (10:54-1:25 p.m.) averaged a 6.7 in 18-49 and 14.8 million viewers overall.
In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 demolition of the Denver Broncos averaged a 47.6 household rating/70 share — down just slightly from last year’s record-setting 48.1/71 for the nail-biter contest between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers and the fifth highest on record. The second highest on record was the 47.9/71 for Green Bay-Pittsburgh on Fox in 2011.
Sunday’s game from East Rutherford, N.J., was the first held in the New York market, and that helped produce a huge 50.5 rating for WNYW Fox 5 in Gotham — the highest there since the 1987 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos earned a 53.4. The blowout also scored a 56.7 rating in Seattle and a 51.4 in Denver.
The top-rated market in the overnights was actually Kansas City (58.1 rating), whose Chiefs are a rival of the Broncos and likely loved the night’s result.
Last year’s game on CBS ended up averaging 108.69 million viewers in the nationals, making it the third most-watched ever, but below both 2012 and 2011. Prior to last year, each of the five previous Super Bowl games had set the record as the most-watched event in U.S. television history.
According to Twitter, more than 24.9 million Tweets were made during the live telecast of the game — more than the 24.1 million during last year’s game (which also featured a blackout that delayed the game for nearly half an hour). By comparison, the previous week’s Grammy Awards on CBS attracted roughly 15.2 million Tweets during the East Coast airing of the show.
The highest Tweets-per-minute were generated by Percy Harvin’s 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter (381,605 TPM) and Jermaine Kearse’s 23-yard TD pass From Russell Wilson with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter (271,775 TPM). The end of the halftime show, which featured Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, averaged 229,533 TPM.
And on Facebook, more than 50 million people had more than 185 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) related to the Super Bowl. The Harvin kickoff return and Kearse touchdown catch were also the most popular here, followed by Malcolm Smith’s interception of Peyton Manning run back for a touchdown in the second quarter and then the final seconds of the game. The fifth most popular moment on Facebook, the lone bright spot for the Broncos, was Demaryius Thomas’ touchdown to make it 36-6.
Elsewhere in primetime on Sunday, the other nets were scrounging for crumbs, with Telemundo able to pull a 2 share in adults 18-49 while ABC, CBS, NBC and Univision all did a 1. The top programs came in the 10 p.m. hour and benefited from the conclusion of the game. ABC’s “Shark Tank” (1.1 rating/3 share in adults 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) led among adults 18-49, and CBS’ encore of “NCIS” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) drew the largest overall audience.
At PBS, “Downton Abbey” averaged 6.8 million viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, up a bit from the 6.6 million it drew against last year’s Super Bowl. It was the most-watched non-sports program in its timeslot.