Super Bowl XLVI is top-viewed U.S. TV show

The Super Bowl on Sunday was the most-watched program in U.S. television history, according to The Nielsen Co., the third year in a row it has set a record.
Nielsen estimated Monday that 111.3 million people watched, at any given time, as the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots on Sunday night. That slightly beat the 111 million who tuned in last year to see Green Bay stop Pittsburgh. The game Sunday, on NBC, was up in the air until the final play and Nielsen said 117.7 million people were watching during the last half hour.
Nielsen also reported that the game was seen in 47 percent of homes with a TV in the nation, making it the sixth-best rated Super Bowl in history and the best in 26 years–since Chicago’s blowout of New England in 1986 drew a 48.3 rating.
(The disparity between rising viewership and ratings that don’t seem to correlate comes from the rating measuring the percentage of homes with a television that are tuned in. And because the U.S. population keeps growing each year, a ratings point represents an increasingly larger number of households.)
Nielsen also said Madonna’s show was seen by an estimated 114 million people, the most-watched Super Bowl halftime entertainment show on record.

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