The Super Bowl, annually television's top-rated night, fell short of all-time record territory Sunday but more than delivered its expected scale.
New England's thrilling overtime comeback win, 34-28, over the Atlanta Falcons, drew an average audience of 113.7 million viewers across Fox's platforms. The all-time record was set by NBC in 2015, with 115.8 million.
The earliest indications from morning figures in metered markets gave Super Bowl LI a 48.8 overnight rating in households, suggesting it was on par with 2016. The revised tally marked an improvement.
The triumph of a classic Super Bowl cliffhanger offered some measure of redemption for football on TV. The NFL had suffered a season marked by pronounced primetime declines and endless think pieces about whether the game was beginning a fade from dominance due to over-saturation, viewer angst about concussions, and other factors.