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Super Bowl XLV Most-Watched TV Show Of All Time

Yup, you read that right. Not only was Super Bowl XLV the highest rated Super Bowl ever, it was the most viewed television show ever. FOX's broadcast of the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers reached a total audience of 162.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in U.S. television history according to The Nielsen Company. I suppose I shouldn't sound so surprised that it was the most watched show ever, as Super Bowls now account for the 20 most-watched programs in history in terms of total viewers.

Most-Watched TV Programs, Total Viewers


Total Viewers

Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers), 2/6/11

162.9 million

Super Bowl XLIV (Colts-Saints), 2/7/10

153.4 million

Super Bowl XLIII (Cardinals-Steelers), 2/1/09

151.6 million

Super Bowl XLII (Giants-Patriots), 2/3/08

148.3 million

Super Bowl XXXVIII (Patriots-Panthers), 2/1/04

144.4 million

Source: NFL, The Nielsen Company

As thrilling as it was to be in attendance last night, there is definitely something to be said for watching football on television. Replays, re-watching certain plays if you have DVR, cheaper food and beverages, and at least when it comes to the Super Bowl, the ability to watch the commercials during breaks in the action -- all are benefits of viewing pigskin games from home rather than at the stadium.

Speaking of commercials, since i haven't yet seen any of them or had time to really read about which companies hit and missed the mark with their outrageously expensive spots, maybe some of you can help out and let me know which you liked and disliked, which you thought were unique, a waste of money, etc.