Super Bowl XVIII Set a New Record for TV Viewers, Fox Says

Game Is a Blowout but Still Averages 111.5 Million Viewers

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(UPDATE: Fox said on Feb. 4 that new Nielsen numbers showed an audience of 112.2 million, an even bigger increase over past years.)

The lopsided nature of Super Bowl XLVIII didn't have as much of an impact on viewership as you might have suspected, with an average of 111.5 million people tuning in to the big game, according to Fox.

That makes it the most-watched Super Bowl, or program of any kind, in TV history, topping the previous record of 111.3 million viewers for the 2012 Super Bowl.

Ratings on Sunday peaked from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. ET as Seattle headed into halftime up 22-0. The halftime show, sponsored by Pepsi and featuring performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was watched by 115.3 million people.

Fourth quarter ratings were only 5% lower than for the game-wide average, Fox said.

This year's game also came in 2.6% above last year, when an average of 108.4 million people watched. That game, broadcast by CBS, included a half-hour span when a power outage hit the Superdome in New Orleans and caused a delay in the game.

The Super Bowl also generated 25.3 million Tweets, according to Fox.

In the slot immediately following the game on Fox, "New Girl" attracted 25.8 million total viewers, the network said. That's up from last year's airing of "Elementary," which was watched by 20.8 million people on CBS. Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" followed "New Girl" and averaged 14.8 million viewers.

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