Super Bowl XLV: The Most Watched Program in Television History

February 7, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: The Most Watched Program in Television History Los Angeles, California-based Fox announced today that its broadcast of Super Bowl XLV was the most watched program in television history. This year’s Super Bowl matchup between The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers averaged an astonishing 111 million viewers. That number surpasses last year’s Super Bowl, broadcast on CBS, which averaged 106.5 million viewers. This is also the second year in a row that the Super Bowl viewership beat the longstanding record of 106 million viewers who tuned in for the 1983 season finale of “M*A*S*H.” According to Fox, an amazing 100.6 million viewers stuck around after the game to tune in for their Sunday night lineup, which included a new episode of their hit show “Glee.”

According to research firm Kantar Media, an average 30-second commercial during the game costs $3 million. While that may seem like a hefty price tag for advertising, Brad Adgate, head of advertising research at Horizon Media Inc., said that “There’s a lot of upside for advertisers, even with commercials costing $3 million…there’s nothing else like it on television.” While the Super Bowl has set viewership records four years in a row, Lou D’Ermilio, a Fox spokesman, said that this year’s Super Bowl would mark the single highest revenue-generating broadcast in the company’s history.

The annual Super Bowl viewership audience has grown six straight years in a row and about 29% since 2005. NBC has the broadcast rights to next year’s Super Bowl matchup.

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