Super Bowl draws most viewers in TV history
The Super Bowl was watched by more than 106 million people, surpassing the 1983 finale of MASH to become the most-watched program in television history.
The Nielsen Co. estimated Monday that 106.5 million people watched the New Orleans Saints upset the Indianapolis Colts. That beats the MASH finale, which had 105.97 million viewers in an era when there were fewer television sets.
Compelling story lines involving the city of New Orleans and its recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the quest for a second Super Bowl ring for Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning (FSY) propelled the viewership.
The game also obliterated the record viewership for a Super Bowl — 98.7 million people in last year’s game between Arizona and Pittsburgh.
In 1983, the federal government estimates there were approximately 235,000,000 people in the U.S. Today, there are just under 308,700,000, according the U.S. Census Bureau.