Super Bowl Ratings: 3rd Most-Watched Super Bowl in TV History

Ryan Glasspiegel

The Super Bowl is a time-honored American television tradition at this point, where even those who aren’t dyed in the wool pigskin fanatics tune in, lest they get left out of the next-day water cooler discussion on the commercials or halftime show. The telecast had set viewership records in 2014 and then again in 2015, and this year’s number came in slightly below last year’s. THR details:

"The first number for Super Bowl 50, based on Nielsen’s metered markets, is a 49 rating and a massive 73 share among households. That’s just off from last year’s 49.7 rating. The 2015 overnight rating marked an all-time high for the Super Bowl, ultimately translating to an average 114.4 million viewers. It topped the previous year’s game (111.5 million viewers) to become the most-watched telecast in U.S. TV history."

Plugging in the 49 overnight rating into the question marks here, this is how last night’s game fared against the decade which preceded it:

Though this year’s number may be construed as a minor disappointment given Peyton Manning’s popularity and Cam Newton’s polarity, perhaps the game may have been slightly affected by not being close late, or by lacking the Ballghazi storyline that built up two weeks of even more hype last year.