Based on incessant Facebook updates, tweets and text messages, we were pretty sure that most of the population tuned in to the Super Bowl, but now the official word is in: Super Bowl XLV is the most watched ever.
According to The Associated Press, Nielsen Co. said Monday (February 7) that an estimated 111 million people watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the National Football League's coveted title. This year's viewership tops the 106.5 million who watched the 2010 game between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts.
In other game-day ratings news, "Glee" — which Fox scheduled as their first post-Super Bowl TV program — brought in an estimated 26.8 million viewers for its special football/"Thriller" episode. The award-winning high school musical/dramedy was the most-watched scripted entertainment program on TV since "House" aired after the Super Bowl three years ago, Nielsen said.
With regard to the annual event's other big draw — the commercials — TiVo reported that the Snickers commercial featuring Richard Lewis and Roseanne Barr was the top-rated ad. The company generated their data via a calculation that takes in viewership plus how many times people rewind their DVRs to watch each ad. The second most popular/ highest-rated spot, according to TiVo's calculations, was Best Buy's ad that featured Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne.
"Funny ads made it to the top," Tara Maitra, TiVo's vice president and general manager for audience research and advertising sales, told the AP.
Another fun TiVo/DVR fact: The average Super Bowl viewer with a DVR either paused, rewound or fast-forwarded 145 times during the game, TiVo said.