Boosted by a performance from Carrie Underwood and the numerous TV spots, Super Bowl XLIV posted a very strong number on Sunday, February 7. Nielsen has scanned over 106.5 millions of people watched New Orleans Saints defeating Indianapolis Colts in the Miami showdown. It was the largest audience for a single broadcast in U.S. TV history.
With the number, Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday night beats last year's broadcast of Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl by 7.8 million in difference. But more importantly, it snatches the record of the most watched broadcast in U.S. TV history from the 1983 series finale of "M*A*S*H" (106 million).
"It was going to happen at some point," Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports said. "I loved 'M*A*S*H' and watched it all the time. But all of us in the industry are relieved that we don't have to hear that the Super Bowl was the second- or third-highest-rated broadcast in history, three million behind 'M*A*S*H'."
In one way, the series remains the one which set up impressive chart since U.S. had 75 million fewer audience at that time. However, there are more TV channels now than in the '80s plus more entertainment media other than TV.
On related news, the Super Bowl this year also makes an impact to CBS' "Undercover Boss". The new series which was debuted after the game earned 38.6 million viewers, making it the largest audience ever for a post-Super Bowl series debut.