For the third straight year, the Super Bowl has set the all-time audience record for a TV broadcast in the United States.
Sunday’s (Feb. 5) telecast of Super Bowl XLVI on NBC delivered an average of 111.3 million viewers — more than a third of the population of the United States. That moves it just ahead of last year’s Super Bowl telecast, which was seen by 111.0 million people.
(The game’s initial ratings had it coming in just below the past two Super Bowls, but the later, more detailed reporting from Nielsen pushed it into the lead.)
The Super Bowl also scored a ridiculous 40.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, the best since Super Bowl XXX pulled in a 41.2 in 1996.
Following the game, the second-season premiere of “The Voice” pulled in NBC’s biggest non-sports ratings since the “Friends” finale in 2004. The show drew 37.6 million viewers and a 16.3 rating among adults 18-49.
“The Voice’s” total-viewer number trails only “Undercover Boss” (38.6 million in 2010) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (37.9 million in 2006) among Super Bowl lead-outs in the past 10 years, and its 18-49 rating is the best since the “Grey’s” telecast.
Following “The Voice” and late local news broadcasts, a special “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” brought in about 6.2 million viewers (roughly 3 1/2 times its average audience) and a 2.5 rating in adults 18-49.