Sunday's dramatic Super Bowl ending lifted Fox's ratings, and the game
finished as the fifth-most-watched program in TV history.
Fox averaged a 40.4 rating/60 share, according to preliminary data from
Nielsen Media Research, and Fox researchers estimated that 131.7 million viewers
watched all or a portion of the New England Patriots' 20-17 victory over the St.
The audience total is the highest ever in Fox's history and ranks as the
most-watched program on TV since 1998's Super Bowl XXXII.
The 40.4/60 equals that of CBS' coverage of last year's Super Bowl between
the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants (40.4/61).
Fox's special one-hour edition of comedy Malcolm in the Middle
followed with 21.5 million viewers and an 11.5/21 in households.
Just over 30 million viewers watched at least a portion of Malcolm --
its most-watched episode to date.
A year ago, CBS used the Super Bowl to launch the second installment of
Survivor, attracting 45.4 million viewers and a 24.5/39 household rating
for the first episode from Australia.
NBC's Super Bowl stunt with Playboy Playmates competing on Fear Factor
at halftime and after the game was a 'nonfactor,' according to Fox
Fear Factor's special halftime installment averaged 11.4 million viewers,
a 5.6/9 in households and a 5.4 rating in adults 18 through 49. The one-hour
episode at the conclusion of the Super Bowl averaged 11.1 million viewers and a
Fox's halftime telecast featuring band U2 averaged a 38.3/58 rating in