Jeff Duncan at the Times Picayune strongly suggested it this morning and the AP made it official, Superbowl 44 was the most watched TV show of all time, eclipsing the final episode of M*A*S*H shown in 1983.
The New Orleans Saints’ victory over Indianapolis in the Super Bowl was watched by more than 106 million people, surpassing the 1983 finale of “M-A-S-H” to become the most-watched program in U.S. television history, the Nielsen Co. said Monday.
Compelling story lines involving the city of New Orleans and its ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the attempt at a second Super Bowl ring for Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning propelled the viewership. Football ratings have been strong all season.
“It was one of those magical moments that you don’t often see in sports,” said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports.
Nielsen estimated Monday that 106.5 million people watched Sunday’s Super Bowl. The “M-A-S-H” record was 105.97 million.
The viewership estimate obliterated the previous record viewership for a Super Bowl — last year’s game between Arizona and Pittsburgh. That game was seen by 98.7 million people, Nielsen said.
Also a very good friend who lives in Coral Gables gave me a head up to check Dave Berry in today’s Miami Herald. Dave’s column is laugh out loud funny, here are a few snippets:
The pregame scene outside the stadium was very festive; the sun was shining and the fans were happy (I am using “happy” in the sense of “fairly hammered already”). You could tell the Saints fans because every few feet they would shout “Who dat.” This is a system — similar to the sonar system used by bats — that enables Saints fans to identify each other by sound when they are too happy to see………………….
The Colts fans don’t say “Who dat,” but they do call themselves “Hoosiers.” There’s a fascinating story behind this name, which is: Nobody knows. At least none of the Colts fans I surveyed did, although they hazarded various guesses, the most interesting of which was that a Hoosier is “a kind of bear that eats curry.”…………………..
The halftime show was spectacular. They wheeled out a really elaborate portable stage, then they turned out the lights, so the stadium went dark. And then, in one of the evening’s most dramatic moments, the spotlights came on to reveal, in the middle of a swirling cloud of smoke……..
Janet Jackson’s right nipple.
No, sorry, that was Pete Townshend; from a distance, he bears a certain resemblance. Townshend is of course the guitarist for the legendary rock band The Who, which performed a medley of its greatest hits, which have been electrifying the world since they first came out during the Spanish-American War. The crowd went crazy, especially when Roger Daltrey, in the climactic finale of Won’t Get Fooled Again, ejected his dentures all the way into the upper deck.
Our boys are back home so now the party in the City that Care Forgot can really begin.