Upon further review, NBC officials announced today the Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl XLIII attracted the largest audience in television history.
Using official national ratings supplied by Nielsen Media Research -- overnights released yesterday termed the 42.1 ratings around average by Super Bowl standards -- NBC recalculated the final numbers and concluded that a record 151.6 million viewers watched at least part of the Steelers' 27-23 triumph over Arizona on Sunday. It was a figure 3.3 million higher than the previous NFL championship, New York Giants-New England Patriots one year earlier.
NBC said 98.7 million viewers were tuned into its Super broadcast on average, which likewise topped the previous year's projected total.
Most viewed TV programs in history (total viewers):
1. Super Bowl XLIII, Steelers-Cardinals 151.6 million (2009)
2. Super Bowl XLII, Giants-Patriots 148.3 million (2008)
3. Super Bowl XXXVIII, Patriots-Panthers 144.4 million (2004)
Mist watched Super Bowls (average viewers):
1. Super Bowl XLIII Steelers-Cardinals 98.7 million (2009)
2. Super Bowl XLII, Giants-Patriots 97.5 million (2008)
3. Super Bowl XXX, Steelers-Cowboys 94.1 million (1996)
4. Super Bowl XLI, Colts-Bears 93.2 million (2007)
5. Super Bowl XXVII, Cowboys-Bills 91.0 million (1993)