While Eli Manning was engineering Big Blue’s 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, a record 111.3 million people tuned in to watch on NBC, Nielsen estimates indicated.
It marked the third straight year the Super Bowl set a record. Last year, 111 million viewers eclipsed the mark of 106.5 million set in 2010. Before that, the 1983 series finale of “M*A*S*H*” had the record with 106 million viewers, Nielsen reported.
That “M*A*S*H*” show still holds the mark for being watched by the highest percentage of all households with televisions at 60.2 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. Super Bowl XLVI was watched in 47 percent of U.S. households with a TV, as opposed to 45 percent in 2011.
According to The Cutline blog on Yahoo, the peak viewership for the Super Bowl came during the pivotal fourth quarter, from 9:30 p.m. to 9:58 p.m., when 117.7 million people were watching.
The halftime show featuring Madonna racked up 114 million watchers, another Super Bowl record.
Meanwhile, Super Bowl tweeting also smashed the record for a sports event, with 12,233 Twitter posts per second going out in the waning minutes of the contest.
It surpassed the previous mark from Jan. 8, when the Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 29-23, in the Wild Card playoffs. During overtime, when Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow threw for the game-winning touchdown, it sparked 9,420 tweets per second.
Madonna also had Twitterers tweeting to the tune of 10,245 tweets per second taking place during the halftime show.
—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM