Super Bowl most-watched U.S. program ever, averaging 123.4 million viewers
The longest Super Bowl game will also go down as the most-watched program in U.S. television history.
According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, Kansas City's 25-22 overtime victory over San Francisco on Sunday night averaged 123.4 million viewers across television and streaming platforms. That shattered last year's mark of 115.1 million for Kansas City's last-play victory over Philadelphia and is a sever per cent increase.
The game was televised by CBS, Nickelodeon and Univision and streamed on Paramount+ as well as the NFL's digital platforms.
Nielsen also said a record 202.4 million watched at least part of the game across all networks, a 10 per cent jump over last year's figure of 183.6 million.
The CBS broadcast averaged 120 million. The network's previous mark for its most-watched Super Bowl was 112.34 million for the 2016 game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Some of the increase can be attributed to a change in the way viewers are counted. Nielsen began including out-of-home viewers in its ratings in 2020, but only from limited markets. That measurement expanded to all 50 states beginning this year.
Sunday's game was only the second of the 58 Super Bowls to go to overtime. The previous one was in 2017, when New England rallied from a 28-3 deficit and beat Atlanta 34-28.
"I was managing my expectations, but I had a bit of hope that it would happen," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said of overtime, which was set up when San Francisco kicker Jake Moody had an extra point blocked in the fourth quarter, which kept it a three-point game. "I can't imagine a Super Bowl any better or more exciting than this."
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Kansas City sent it to overtime on Harrison Butker's