Super Bowl XLV drew more viewers than last year's Super Bowl or the 1983 finale of “M*A*S*H.” (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/DP Cassidy/In Hoc Signo)

As Super Bowls go, Super Bowl XLV was a monster of a game for Nielsen ratings. The Washington Post reports that the contest between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers drew a television record 111 million viewers as the most-watched program in U.S. television history. The Packers’ triumph bested the 106.5 million viewers who tuned in for Super Bowl XLIV last year, as well as the 106 million viewers who watched the series finale of “M*A*S*H” in 1983.

Super Bowl television views: Reach number vs. actual audience

Some media sources have reported that Super Bowl XLV had a television audience of 162.9 million people. However, that number does not represent the actual number of viewers; it is a “reach” number that relates to advertisers. That many people watched six minutes of the game or less. The 111 million figure is for viewers who stuck around longer, even through the performance of the Black Eyed Peas during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Not much crossover between football and ‘Glee’ fans

Much of that audience failed to stick around once the game was over and the latest episode of “Glee” aired, though. Nielsen Media Research says 84 million of the 111 million bailed when the game was over. The post-Super Bowl audience of 27 million viewers this year was significantly lower than what CBS experienced in 2010 when it aired the reality show contrivance “Undercover Boss,” which captured 39 million viewers.

Neither show could touch the numbers for the top two post-Super Bowl programs in television history. A 1996 episode of “Friends” drew 53 million viewers, and the 2001 premiere episode of another “reality” program, “Survivor: The Australian Outback” got 45 million viewers.

The deadly East Coast time slot

It is believed that much of the drop-off following the Super Bowl had to do with the start time for “Glee.” Because of the Super Bowl XLV post-game show, “Glee” began at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. As most of the country’s major Nielsen markets are in the Eastern time zone, bedtime could have been the main factor in the shrinking audience.


Washington Post

Super Bowl XLV Doritos commercial

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]