Super Bowl takes home the trophy for most-watched US programme of all time

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 03 February 2015

The Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks clocked in as the most watched television programme in US television history.

In all, 114.4 million people tuned in to the 49th Super Bowl broadcast, aired on NBC. It was a close contest, decided in the final 30 seconds. Viewership swelled to a peak at 120.8 million viewers from 9.45-10pm ET, during the fourth quarter.

That translated into overnight ratings of 49.7, the game's highest ever overnight result.

The numbers are up 2.2 million viewers from the previous high, which was last year's game between Seattle and the Denver Broncos. That match (a blowout) drew a 47.6 rating overnight though, making it third in line now after 2013's 48.1 rating.

The event had a halo effect as well. The Blacklist's postgame 8.7 rating was good for 26.5 million viewers, making it NBC's most-watched scripted show in more than ten years. It also pulled a 13.4 rating. That's a 9% improvement over FOX's showing of New Girl in that coveted slot last year.

Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show meanwhile rated 6.2, the best late-night postgame rating since 1998 and double the rating drawn by 2013's after-game Late Show With Craig Ferguson.