While Sunday’s Super Bowl broke plenty of records (and hearts for that matter), the TV ratings record was not one of them. Fox’s telecast of the game drew an average audience of 111.3 million viewers, tying the record for the fourth largest audience in U.S. television history.
As our chart illustrates, Super Bowl TV viewership has risen sharply since the 1990s. For the past few years, it has been hovering around 110 million with the 2015 game setting an all-time record at 114.4 million viewers. This year’s Super Bowl marked the second consecutive year-over-year decline in TV viewership, though interest remains at a very high level.
The biggest moment of this year’s telecast was the overtime, when up to 117.7 million people saw the Patriots seal their victory. The Super Bowl is much more than just a game though, hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that the halftime show was close behind the game’s crunch time in terms of viewership: Lady Gaga’s performance drew 117.5 million viewers according to Nielsen.