Sunday’s unbelievable game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons drew 111.3 million viewers per Deadline, putting it in a tie for the fourth-most watched TV program in U.S. history with Super Bowl 46 (Patriots-New York Giants). It now trails Super Bowl 50, which is in third place, and two Seattle Seahawks games:
Super Bowl XLVIII, which had 112.2 million viewers, and Super Bowl XLIX, which had 115.2 million. That game also jumped to 120.8 million viewers in the final minutes, with most of those fans being thrilled, and a small, but sad, percentage of us getting our hearts ripped out.
Overall, that means that New England’s draw was down 3% from two years ago, but I wonder how much of that was due to people tuning out midway through the third quarter. A significant percentage of people probably ditched the game for an early start on other plans, including heavy drinking by both sides.
The finale of M*A*S*H remains as the only TV program in the top 20 (105.9 million viewers, 8th place) that is not a Super Bowl.