Here is a brief list of the most-watched television shows in U.S. history:
1. Super Bowl 49 (2015): 114.4 million average viewers (Patriots-Seahawks)
2. Super Bowl 48 (2014): 112.2 million (Seahawks-Broncos)
3. Super Bowl 50 (2016): 111.9 million (Broncos-Panthers)
4. Super Bowl 46 (2012): 111.3 million (Giants-Patriots)
5. Super Bowl 45 (2011): 111.0 million (Packers-Steelers)
6. Super Bowl 47 (2013): 108.7 million (Ravens-Niners)
7. Super Bowl 44 (2010): 106.5 Million (Saints-Colts)
Spot the trend? Naturally, it’s the Super Bowl, and all have come this decade. Given the finish of Sunday’s game, it was clear that CBS was unlikely to top last year’s Super Bowl in viewership given the finish of New England’s win over Seattle. But 111.9 million average viewers—and a peak average of 115.5 million viewers from 8:30-9 p.m. ET—was a solid rating for CBS given the game lacked the drama viewers have been treated to for most of the games since 2008.
CBS said it set multiple digital viewership records, including 3.96 million unique viewers (up from 2.5 million last year) across laptops, desktops, tablets, connected TV devices and mobile phones watching the game. The network said viewers watched for more than 101 minutes each on average. Sports Business Daily reporter Eric Fisher said that there is one caveat to those metrics: CBS’s numbers also included NFL platforms, which NBC did not include last year. National ads ran in the same spots on the broadcast and livestream for the first time this year.
CBS said that The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which had the coveted post-Super Bowl slot, drew 21.12 million viewers from 10:54 p.m. to 12:01 a.m. ET (it aired live across the country). The Los Angeles Times reported Colbert’s show has averaged 2.9 million viewers a night during the 2015–16 TV season.
The other broadcaster showing the game in the United States—ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language home of the Super Bowl—averaged 472,000 viewers. ESPN said the broadcast was the second most-watched non-soccer event ever on Spanish-language pay television, behind only the 2014 Super Bowl.
THE NOISE REPORT
1a. If you missed it, here was the great Super Bowl opener, produced by CBS Sports creative director Pete Radovich:
2. ESPN public editor Jim Brady examined the dissolution of Grantland, though strangely without anything new from ESPN president John Skipper or Marie Donoghue, the executive vice president of global strategy and original content, who was in charge of Grantland on the business side.
3. Episode No. 41 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features Turner Sports host Ernie Johnson, who hosts Inside the NBA as well as NBA Fan Night on NBA TV.
In this episode, Johnson discusses navigating a studio show that is mostly ad-libbed, his views on race, how they developed and the racial dynamics on the set of Inside the NBA, when he knew Charles Barkley would be good on television, how he prepares for hosting Inside the NBA, why Kevin Garnett would be a great studio host as long as he avoided f-bombs, what he learned from his father Ernie Jr., a longtime MLB broadcaster, his surviving non-Hodgkin lymphoma and much more.
A reminder: you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, and you can view all of SI’s podcasts here. If you have any feedback, questions or suggestions, please comment here or tweet at me.
4. Fox Sports 1’s Jay Onrait talks to the Dan Patrick radio show:
4a. On Monday Deadspin’s Dave McKenna published some disturbing allegations regarding the age and gender discrimination lawsuit filed by Colleen Dominguez against FS1, specifically the allegations regarding why producer Jacquelyn Bower was let go by the network. A Fox Sports spokesperson declined comment to Deadspin, citing “a pending legal matter.”
5. NBC Sports will air the first-ever live coverage of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on NBC from Los Angeles. The coverage will feature simultaneous coverage of the men’s and women’s races (which start 16 minutes apart on the same course). Tom Hammond will host the coverage and will be joined by Craig Masback, Tim Hutchings, Lewis Johnson and Carrie Tollefson.