While many might scoff at paying $3 million dollars for a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl, if you advertised during Super Bowl XLIV last night, you made a good choice. That’s because Super Bowl XLIV set a new all-time ratings high with 106.5 million viewers, and it was the first sports program to ever crack 100 million viewers in the United States. This year’s Super Bowl even took down the 27-year-old ratings record held by the final episode of M*A*S*H. While there are more people watching TV now, it’s still an incredible milestone.
“It is not surprising that the Super Bowl broke viewing records,” said Bill Carroll, vp director of programming at Katz TV Group. “When you have a once-a-year event, particularly suited to HD, with little to no competition on broadcast or cable, while in this economy mostly watched from home, with a blizzard on the East Coast, it would be more surprising if the game did not set a record.” (via THR)
The premiere of Undercover Boss, CBS’ latest reality show, also drew huge ratings with 38.6 million viewers. That’s the biggest post Super Bowl audience since the second season premiere of Survivor back in 2001.