UPDATE, 1:30PM: The final results for Super Bowl XLIX are in and they’re probably doing a victory dance over at NBC to rival the one the New England Patriots did last night. The bone crunching down to the last minute clash between the winning Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks drew a historic 114.5 million viewers. Topping the 112.2 million audience of last year’s 43-8 blowout game on Fox here the Seahawks smashed the Denver Broncos, last night’s Super Bowl is now the most watched show in U.S. TV history. Viewership of the game surged to 120.8 million from 9:45 – 10 PM ET in the dramatic fourth quarter.
Undoubtedly welcome news to all those advertisers paying $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, the roller coaster football game was no slacker among the vital key demo either. Among adults 18-49, Super Bowl XLIX got a 47.5/71 rating. That’s up 2% from the average fast national share of 46.4/69 that last year’s game got. With the Patriots clenching their fourth Super Bowl of the 21st century, last night’s game 6:31 – 10:10 PM ET also bopped up from the 47.2 demo rating of that broadcast.
As things stand, last night’s game was the fourth highest rated Super Bowl ever.
The all time Super Bowl demo high was the 49.1 result that the January 24, 1982 Cincinnati Bengals loss to the San Francisco 49ers got. The second best 18-49 return was the 48.3 rating of Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983 when the Washington Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins
The previous overall viewership record was the last time the NFL’s Big Game was on NBC and the last time New England was in the Super Bowl. Airing on February 5, 2012, Super Bowl XLVI had 111.3 million viewers as the Patriots went down to defeat at the hands of the New York Giants.
Super Bowl XLIX was a good night for Katy Perry and her halftime show too. The “Roar” singer’s 8 – 8:30 PM ET performance with Missy Elliot and Lenny Kravitz snagged 118.5 million viewers. That’s a solid more than 3 million viewer jump over the record breaking 115.3 million that Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers got last year. The previous halftime champion was Madonna’s 2012 performance with M.I.A and Nicki Minaj and more. That halftime show had an audience of 114 million watching.
In the highly coveted post Super Bowl slot, The Blacklist got an 8.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 26.5 million viewers. Not only is that a series high in both viewership and demo of 111% and 129% respectively for the James Spader starring show but it is the most watched scripted show on NBC since ER pulled in 28.3 million on the night of the Friends finale on May 6, 2004. While up 11% in the demo and up almost 6 million more than 20.800 million tht CBS’s Elementary got in 2013, which was the last time a drama aired post Super Bowl, last night’s Blacklist was still down from the 37.881 million who watched Grey’s Anatomy after the 2006 Big Game on ABC. As has been said before, unscripted just seem to do better post Super Bowl as the 37.611 million that The Voice drew for NBC in 2012 shows.
A big birthday for the NFL, next year’s Super Bowl 50 is scheduled to be broadcast on February 7, 2016 by CBS from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Its being nicknamed the Golden Super Bowl because of the anniversary and the fact it is being played in the Golden State – wonder if we’ll see another ratings rise for the Big Game to add some more shimmer to that moniker.
PREVIOUS, 6:09 AM: It was so so close, so similar and yet so very different from last year. Last night’s Super Bowl was of course similar because it once again had the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL’s Big Game, but so different because it was far from a blowout and in the end the winners were the New England Patriots over Pete Carroll’s boys from the Emerald City 28-24. In overnight ratings, the right down to the last minute nail biting heart-stopping drama of Super Bowl XLIX drew a 49.7/72 for NBC and the NFL. That’s the highest overnight rating in Super Bowl history and a 4% rise from last year’s 47.6/70 metered market result when Seattle won their first Super Bowl so far with a 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Compared to the last time NBC had the Super Bowl on back in 2012, last night’s game was 3.9% up from the 47.8 metered markets result of that game where the New York Giants schooled the Patriots 21 -17 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Last night’s game, which peaked with a 52.9/73 from 10-10:15 PM ET, was also up 3% from the previous highest-rated metered market Super Bowl of the 48.1/71 that 2013’s Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers game had.
As close as it was in terms of the score, last night’s Patriots v Seahawks matchup was not the closest Super Bowl spread in recent years – that distinction goes to the 34-31 result of the 2013 Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers game. Last night’s game is the fourth Super Bowl the Patriots have won this century with victories in 2002, 2004, 2005 and now 2015.
And as the overall Super Bowl MM result rose this year so did last night’s Halftime show. Joined by Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot, Katy Perry’s 8-8:30 PM ET roaring performance belted out a a 50.8/73 result in metered markets. That’s up 5% from the show Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers put on last year.
Looking at that highly valued post-Super Bowl spot, The Blacklist got a 13.4/24 metered markets result – something NBC must be happy about. Starting at 10:38 PM ET and returning from its Season 2 winter break, the James Spader-starrer was up 9% over the New Girl episode that Fox ran after the Super Bowl last year. It was also up a healthy 13% from what CBS’ Elementary pulled in on February 3, 2103 after Super Bowl XLVII.
That most recent drama-to-drama comparison must be tempered by the fact that that the Ravens vs. 49ers game was hit by a power outage that delayed play and consequently saw Elementary pushed back to an 11:11 PM ET start, the latest for any post Super Bowl programming. With a lead over 64% over last night’s Blacklist, the champion of the post Super Bowl dramas is the 22.0/35 that Grey’s Anatomy scored for ABC after Seattle’s loss to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006. That episode of the Shonda Rhimes Seattle-based medical drama had a relatively early 10:05 PM ET start too. Compared to the last time NBC had the big NFL game back in 2012, last night’s post show Blacklist was down 32% from the 20.0/30 that the Season 2 debut of The Voice got after Super Bowl XLVI. With the special exception of Grey’s back in 2006, unscripted shows have routinely performed much better than dramas in the post Super Bowl slot on whatever network is airing the game that year. A special The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon got a 6.2/16 MM result for its 12:15 to 1:15 AM ET airing. That’s up 100% over the last late-night post Super Bowl show of CBS’ The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson back in 2013 and the best rated late night Super Bowl Sunday result since 1998 when the then Jay Leno hosted Tonight Show snagged a 7.3 MM rating.
Worth noting, as we wait for more ratings results from last night’s game at the University of Phoenix Stadium, that last year’s Super Bowl on Fox ended up being the most-watched TV show in U.S history with 111.5 million. The championship game of the 2013 season pulled in a 46.4/69 rating to be basically tied with the 46.3 of the previous Super Bowl. The highest-rated Super Bowl since the 48.3 of the January 26, 1986 clash between the winning Chicago Bears and New England was that 47.1 rating that the February 5, 2012 game between the dominating NY Giants and the Patriots pulled in.
With that math in mind, here are the Top 5 Super Bowl metered market results of all time:
Top 5 Super Bowl XLVIII In Metered-Markets
1) 2015: 49.7 – Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks (NBC)
2) 2013: 48.1 – Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers (CBS)
3) 2011: 47.9 – Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FOX)
4) 1987: 47.9 – Super Bowl XXI: NY Giants vs. Denver Broncos (CBS)
5) 2012: 47.8 – Super Bowl XLVI: NY Giants vs. New England Patriots (NBC)