Super Bowl Is Most-Watched Program in TV History

106.5 million viewers tops 1983 'M*A*S*H' finale

CBS' coverage of Super Bowl XLIV was watched by an estimated 106.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in television history.  The game, which gave the beleaguered New Orleans Saints its first Super Bowl appearance and win -- eclipsed the 1983 finale of M*A*S*H for most-watched of all time.

Immediately following the Super Bowl, CBS premiered reality show Undercover Boss, which tallied 38.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched reality series premiere ever and the biggest new series debut on TV since 1987.

The Super Bowl, which was broadcast live from Miami on CBS, averaged a 46.4 household rating/68 share, according to overnight ratings supplied by Nielsen.

That marks a 10% increase over last year's match up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals (42.1/65).

Tune in for the game peaked between 9:30-9:45 p.m. (50.6/71).

Not surprisingly, New Orleans was the top-rated market (56.3/82), followed by Washington, D.C. (56.0/73), where hundreds of thousands of people were snowed in. Nashville was the third most watched market (54.4/73) followed by Indianapolis, home of the losing Colts (54.2/ 80).

Top 10 Rated in the Metered Markets

1.                  New Orleans                      56.3/82                        6.         Dayton, Ohio                53.7/73

2.                  Washington, D.C.               56.0/73                        7.         Norfolk, Va.                 53.1/72

3.                  Nashville                            54.4/73                        8.         Knoxville, Tenn.           52.0/65

4.                  Indianapolis                        54.2/80                        T9.       West Palm Bch, Fla.     51.8/69

5.                  Columbus, Ohio                 54.0/74                        T9.       Pittsburgh                     51.8/67