(NEW YORK) — Fox’s telecast of Super Bowl 48 on Sunday set a TV ratings record, even though the game itself wasn’t very exciting.
The network says an average audience of 111.5 million people watched the Seattle Seahawks’ victory over the Denver Broncos. Super Bowl 48 now stands as the most-watched program in U.S. television history.
The 2012 Super Bowl, televised by NBC and won by the New York Giants over the New England Patriots, held the old mark of 111.3 million viewers. The NFL’s championship game has set an audience record in four of the past five years.
The Seahawks scored just 12 seconds into Sunday’s game and never looked back in a 43-8 romp over the Broncos.
The Super Bowl 48 halftime show, starring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, also made history by drawing 115.3 million viewers. That’s a record audience for a Super Bowl halftime show, surpassing the old mark of 114 million set by Madonna’s performance two years ago.
Fox’s lengthy pregame show peaked from 6 p.m. Eastern time to kickoff, when it was seen by 68.4 million people.
The massive ratings for the Super Bowl certainly helped out the two comedies that Fox aired after the game, New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. New Girl, which featured guest star Prince, attracted 25.8 million viewers, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine received an audience of 14.8 million.
PBS offered a popular alternative to viewers who had no interest in the Super Bowl. A new episode of Downton Abbey averaged 6.8 million viewers, and was the second-highest-rated TV program during the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Levenson, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com