Unless you were living under a rock or were lost at sea, you were either aware of or watching the Super Bowl yesterday. The Saints beat the Colts (don’t even get me started on that one), but more press-worthy is the fact that it was the most watched program in US television history. For those old enough to remember, it overtook the 27-year old record held by the final episode of MASH, the old military comedy.
The game had a whopping 106.5 million viewers according to the early Nielsen estimates. MASH’s previous number was 105.97. Both, incidentally, were on CBS, who I’m sure is overjoyed to have the number one and two program of all time. But I’m sure that they won’t gloat about that one… It was also the first time that a televised sporting even topped a hundred million viewers, drawing two million more people than that of last year’s big game. This just goes to show that not only is the NFL gaining popularity and fans, but CBS is raking in the viewers and cash.
People are tuning into more live events, especially on a global scale. There were record audiences registered in the UK last year for ITV1’s Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “reality television”. Also variable factors that need to be taken into account is that there are more television sets, more people, and more ways to watch media. So kudos to CBS for holding the record, for now. As the old adage goes, records were made to be broken. While CBS will milk this for all its worth, they will use it as a springboard to attract yet more people.
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