The 2011 NFL season concluded with another television milestone as Super Bowl XLVI on NBC reached a total audience of 166.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in U.S. television history according to The Nielsen Company.
The Giants-Patriots championship game topped the previous record of 162.9 million total viewers set last year (Packers-Steelers in Super Bowl XLV) and marks the fifth consecutive record-setting total audience for the Super Bowl. Super Bowls account for the 21 most-watched programs in history in terms of total audience.
The previous Super Bowl between these two teams (Super Bowl XLII 2/3/08) drew 148.3 million viewers.
In addition, a record average of 111.3 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLVI – topping the previous mark of 111 million for Super Bowl XLV.
Source: NFL, The Nielsen Company