The epic victory of the New England Patriots in the 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons was watched by a television audience of 111.3 million. The FOX network, which had the rights to the broadcast, achieved a large ratings bump in what was the first Super Bowl in NFL history to be decided in overtime.
However, the numbers registered actually netted a small decline over over the past two years, but that did not stop the Super Bowl event from being among the most watched for a television show in the United States. According to Nielsen, the largest audience for the Super Bowl – Highest for a television show in the United States – was 114.4 million viewers who watched the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in last year’s February 1, 2015 Superbowl.
The audience and game actually got off to a slow start as the relatively unknown Falcons got out to what appeared to be an insurmountable 28-3 lead that they held on to the 3rd quarter. It all changed as they watched as the Patriots with their stellar quarterback Tom Brady and running back James White, who finished with 20 points in a 12 minute stretch into the 4th quarter.
By overtime, the audience had swelled to 117.7 million according to Nielsen. 117.5 million tuned into to Lady Gaga’s half-time show, which surpassed last year’s show with English band Coldplay. This year’s Super Bowl television ads cost $ 5 million to $ 5.5 million.