Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" hit a new audience record for its 10th annual installment, drawing 13.5 million people to watch at some point during its 12-hour marathon on Super Bowl Sunday, the network said Tuesday. That's up from the 12.4 million people that watched the pups go head-to-head last year.
The first showing of this year's two-hour telecast, which started at 3 p.m. on Sunday, averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 24% jump from the 2013 airing, according to Animal Planet.
While that's an impressive number for the cable network, it fell short of the audience for PBS' "Downton Abbey," which averaged 6.8 million viewers when it aired at 9 p.m.
"Puppy Bowl" generated more than 340,000 tweets during its premiere telecast and 150,000 Instagram pictures. Video streams on AnimalPlanet.com were up 40% from last year, with about 500,000 unique visitors to the site on game day.
Fox said Tuesday that the actual Super Bowl had attracted 112.2 million viewers, saying Nielsen ratings had increased from the earlier estimate of 111.5 million.
Hallmark Channel's "Kitten Bowl" attracted a total of 6.1 million viewers during its 12-hour run, according to the network.