It's been a long time since "huge ratings" and "NBC" were mentioned in the same sentence, but bragging rights have finally returned to the peacock this week (and NBC-Universal/GE) now that some post-fast-nationals numbers have been released by Neilsen.
I was actually a little worried that Super Bowl 43 was going to sag compared to 42 (Giants vs Patriots) because really, the Cardinals? This franchise hadn't seen the big game since a decade before I was born. And the Steelers, while being a very talented team, are not exactly the "best show on turf" if you know what I mean.
The Rams back in Warner's heyday, not so much.
But it was a good game and apparently just a ridiculous number of people watched it, enough to take over the third spot for the most watched program ever in the history of U.S. television.
M*A*S*H holds the record for 106 million which really lives in its own world given the ascendence of cable and the greater competition -- that number would be far more impressive today -- even American Idol has never topped much more than 40 million. Super Bowl 42 from last year pulled in 97.4 million with another 94 million this year, the second most watched Super Bowl in history. At one point something like 60% of U.S. homes with a television turned on were watching NBC Sunday night.
Too bad none of that translates into new, regular viewers for NBC. They need 'em.