February 8th, 2010
02:33 PM ET

Super Bowl most-watched show ever

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Move over, "M*A*S*H" finale. You've finally been surpassed.

According to Nielsen ratings estimates published in Hollywood trade publications, Sunday's Super Bowl XLIV - in which the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 - now holds the record for viewership. The event was watched by 106.5 million viewers, slightly more than the famed 1983 "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" conclusion to "M*A*S*H," which was watched by 105.97 million.

Yes, the usual caveats apply. The United States is a more populous nation than it was 27 years ago, and thus there are more TV viewers. But there are also more TV outlets - the fabled 500-plus channels - which means the Super Bowl crushed a lot more competitors than "M*A*S*H" (or the "Dallas" "Who Shot J.R." episode or the end of "Roots") did.

See what other broadcasts have made history

Even more startling were the ratings from individual cities. According to Nielsen, 82 percent of TV-watching households in New Orleans were watching the game; the figure was 80 percent in Indianapolis. Washington, Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, all topped 70 percent.

(Speaking as a person who grew up in New Orleans, and who received regular updates on how Saints-crazy the city had gone, I have to wonder - what were the other 18 percent watching in the Crescent City?)

CBS has to be happy. Not only did the big game do tremendously well, but apparently 38.6 million watched "Undercover Boss" after the contest. Not a bad night for the Eye.


soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. George

    I have lived and travel all over the world and I must point out to all of you thats once you are out of the United States noone views the American Super Bowl. Kevin's number above about the Wolrd Cup is totally erroneous. The World Cup Final is viewed by 2 billion people around the world, Final Game, and the total views for the entire world cup is 55 billion, the world cup is a month long sporting event. The New York Times wrote an article four years ago stating these numbers and mentioned that you would have to have 30 Super Bowls to equal the one world cup Final. People in our country dont realize football around the world means soccer and is the major sport in every country in the world with the exception of USA, Canada and Japan. Thats why we nominate all our sports winners as world champions because simply nobody else plays our sports. Even Baseball which mostly played here in japan and a few islands in the carribean was thrown out of the Olympics due to liitle interest in the International forum. Just a few facts for many in this forum that have not been around especially outside this country.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Chuck asked, "There is nothing in this article about soccer. So why do you soccer folks feel the need to say anything at all?" Chuck, it's because the article stated that the Saints-Colts Super Bowl "now holds the record for viewership." We are writing because this is simply untrue. The last world cup final drew 260 million – and 600 million if you count people who watched some but not all of the game. The NFL is great – not taking anything away from it but the article is wrong. That having been said, WHO DAT!!!!!! GO SAINTS!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris Hester

    Snowed in or not each viewer with a TV and 500 channels had a choice of what he/she wanted to watch. I wish all the Cowboy fans would quit hating on the Saints. Be happy you beat the World Champs on their off day and you won a playoff game for the first time in 10 years. You had a go season. Now get ready for next year as the Saints repeat!!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mr. Bach

    Did anyone stop to think that the reason so many people watched the superbowl may not have necesserily been for the game but the fact that THE WHO, THE WORLD'S GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL BAND played the halftime show, YEAH.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. mercfan74

    To start – it was a great game. Congrats to the Saints fans. Not to take anything away from your victory but I doubt these numbers – you had a large number of potential viewers between DC – Philly and Sourthern NJ hit hard by the weekend snow storm. Many people in those areas without power or cable service on Sunday when the game took place.

    Some people say, they would have found other places nearby to watch the game and maybe some did. But many of these same people were still trying to shovel out on the Tuesday after the game preparing for the next storm that hit Tuesday night.

    I don't think you have to explain to the fans in New Orleans, that cleaning up and preparing for natural disasters come first over a ball game, as great as it was.

    It's something none these TV analyst even mention in their reports about the viewing audience.

    February 11, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WHO DAT!!

    The Saints Parade was off the chain!! Peyton is great, but i'm just glad to hear another QB's name other than Brett and his even if it's only for a few weeks. Drew Brees - bless you boys!! @ Shelly...i think i can think of other things to do other than watch tv shows and look @ DVD's. I hate that football is over now...i'm already having withdrawals!!

    February 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Glenny Warzeski

    The missing 18% in New Orleans were at the game in Miami.

    February 11, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Craig

    Congrats to the Saints, but I could care less about the Super Bowl. It will soon be forgotten by most, but MASH will be remembered for a long time to come.

    February 11, 2010 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Craig

    I however did record the game, on pause for about 1 hour. Then proceeded like usual to fast forward to watch all the new commercials. After the commercials I skip-played to the next commercial. There were not as many good ones this year. when i got to half time I hit play and watched. After halftime was over I resumed my skip play to watch the commercials. All in all It was very uneventful. However, I did make some good chili and had many friends over that do not watch football. I hope after this recession that the commercials go back to being state of the art.

    February 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. carlos

    WHO DAT by Young Jeezy should be the Saints unofficial theme song

    February 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vince

    Saints parade starts in Nola at 6pm.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shelly

    Being snowed in does not mean you had to watch the game. There were other shows on and what about DVDs.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dante Inferno

    the commercial of dantes inferno was the best that game is going to be great.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. john

    i wonder how many watched it for the Who or the commercials and didn't care about the game.

    February 9, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. TheOldViking

    In the interest of accuracy CNN should note that this is an American record. 608 million people worldwide watched the FIFA World Cup final in 2006 between Italy and France.

    Last year, 122 million Europeans tuned it for the Eurovision Song Contest, the most popular show in Europe and the one ABBA won in 1974.

    February 9, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  16. frankhou77

    The title is very misleading, it should say "Super Bowl most-watched show in the US"

    For sure not the most-watched show.

    February 9, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  17. Gwen in SATX

    I watched the game and I enjoyed it; however, there were a few moments I surfed to see what else good was on...I don't about others but here in San Antonio...Nada! Not even Desperate Housewives or Kardashians etc, I'm just saying, would things have been different if there where something else???

    February 9, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  18. neworleans_la_lady

    Two weeks before the Superbowl broke this incredible record for viewership, there was an article I read how the NFC game between the Saints and the Vikings broke record viewership for a championship game. I wonder if so many people were "snowed in and had nothing better to do" for that game as well. I doubt it. Whatever the reason is for record viewership, these games that happened to involve the New Orleans Saints have gotten plenty of attention throughout the country and it seems there are many out there who have been cheering for team that has never won. It has been so much fun to celebrate a winning season and to attend all those extra football parties! As for the tv show, MASH, it will always be remembered for the great show it was, with a talented cast and skilled writers! For those fans, how lucky you can still catch reruns and view them on your big-screen TV!

    February 9, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  19. Rick T.

    it is an apples vs oranges arguement as to the World Cup Final/UEFA Cup final vs. the Super Bowl in terms of global appeal. I mean, duh, theres more people globally to engulf the US numbers.

    Also to all the quasi-xenophobes living in a box that claim that there's not a population in the USA that watches and follows the game of club soccer, please re-think deeply about that. For one the number of immigrants here (especially Latinos) are a huge market for soccer ratings, even if it's for Univision, ESPN Deporters, etc. They live in the USA, they watch soccer. There's also a contigent of Americans who like to stay true to their ancestry from wherever nation their forefathers came from. And then there are Born In The USA Americans like myself, who don't live life in a box, and with an open mind, play and embrace all facets of soccer and it's supporter culture.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  20. Rob

    Who cares about football anyway? Bring on the Fashion Channel, honey!

    February 9, 2010 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  21. paul

    Hah,,i didnt watch it,,,but i am happy for the saints and New Orleans,,,i would rather watch european rugby,,,

    February 9, 2010 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  22. Daniel

    Most-watched show ever... in the United States. FIFA's World Cup is the most widely-viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  23. John Jarreau

    I live in New Orleans. My house was flooded. The Saints have done more for the city and area than any single organization. I don't mean money, we have gotton our share, but renewed hope for the people who live here....More than Bush (president), Nagin (mayor) and Blanco (gov at time). Drew Brees and all the team members have shown what true sportsman like conduct really is. Our city has it's faults, and many of them. But there is hope for the future and the Saints are a big part of this hope! Bless You Boys!

    February 9, 2010 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  24. Pig Skin

    Congratulations Saints!

    February 9, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  25. icanreed

    Long live MASH, long live Soccer – I can cut my toenails all by myself – I'm sooo SMART – - I like cheese.

    You're wrong and you're wrong and you're wrong but I'm sooo SMART

    Go Dale Earnhart – a million people watched TV one day – - my mommy says I'm sooo SMART

    I can tie my shoes all by myself. 4+4=Soccer RULES!! and girls are smelly. I like Mcdonald's – it's in China.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  26. fart face

    i think the saints are good for doing the win in superbowl

    February 9, 2010 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  27. fuck me

    i think the saints are awesome

    February 9, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  28. Stephanie

    I think I'd like to see a comparison based on the percentage of the population who watched the different shows. I think it'd be interesting.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  29. Joe

    M*A*S*H had 121.6 Million viewers in 50.2 million households while SuperBowl XLIV was seen by 106.5 Million viewers in 51.7 million households. So I guess it depends on which category you look at as to which takes the top prize.

    Long live M*A*S*H!!!!

    February 9, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  30. Brian

    Sorry, but I missed this superbowl, and I have no intention of supporting in the future an organization that employs someone like Michael Vick. They obviously have no standards, unlike the producers and creators responsible for the MASH finale. Six weeks from now, no one will remember who even PLAYED in the superbowl in 2010, let alone a recall a final score. However, compelling writing and characterizations from one of television's classic series will be viewed as an 'evergreen' and appreciated by each new generation, despite any dubious claims to a ratings victory. Besides, how can you compare the ratings for a television series that (at the time) was NOT simulcast around the world to a sporting event that WAS?

    February 9, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  31. Florida - RFO

    The Vikings v. Saints was a far better game then the Super Bowl. The Colts seemed go to sleep after the half.

    World Cup 2010 !!

    February 9, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  32. Andrew

    I think a very important fact to consider too is that MASH was probably watched by individual households, mostly by families sitting down and watching it together, where as with the superbowl you have to think that a large number of those tv's were being watched by several families at just one household. I wouldn't be surprised if there were alot more people than this watching the superbowl had everyone stayed home to watch it...however the snow on the east coast also explains the higher than normal numbers.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  33. travis

    i wonder what the world viewership will be? maybe it can compete with the world cup this year... doubt it but ive got my fingers crossed

    February 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  34. tim

    I think its great that a team that has never been to the super bowl won. Maybe thats why so many people watced it. That is the only reason I watched.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jackie Burns

    @ Lao, 'Make claims all you want to about Soccer or the World Cup. Nobody really cares in the US.'

    In the same way no one really cares about American Football outside the US!

    February 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Lseejax

    The international soccer vs. NFL number of viewers reports may be an apples and oranges comparison and calculation. Soccer may be popular world-wide, but their internationally televised events are fewer than the NFL, and their telecasts also exclude most primary women's soccer. The REAL soccer viewer numbers compared to the NFL also may be eskewed as result of the fact that the soccer viewer numbers may include the women's games, while the NFL doesn't have this. The NFL cheerleaders, as its women participants– should be considered NFL "players," too, who also ought to be paid well, as are the football players they lead for. ..a non-discriminatory idea for 2010...So what's factually a bigger world-wide TV viewer audience: the NFL Super Bowl or International Soccer Championship? Please Give us the apples to apples facts you sports and media experts.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  37. joe blow

    cause the northeast was snowed in

    February 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Ben

    I was 3 years old when MASH went off the air. I think it's a fabulous show. But the fact is, the show got worse near the end, and its ratings dropped. The finale got such big ratings because of mega-promotion and because it was the end of an institution. The finale was not a memorable episode as far as MASH goes. The only memorable part at all was the final GOODBYE scene. The Super Bowl, on the other hand, happens every year. The MASH finale happened once. That is why it is remarkable that one instance of a yearly event gained more viewers than "the end of an era." How many options were there to watch that night in 1983? 10??? I think that's a generous number, depending on where you lived. The Super Bowl competes with 500 other channels, as well as every other type of entertainment option. Regardless of the snow, people always watch the Super Bowl, and there have been 27 years where no show has topped MASH, and surely years where the Super Bowl coincided with blizzards. This was an epic Super Bowl, deserving of the viewership. Anyone who watched football this year knows that the better team won. There was no backing into this championship. The Vikings played their absolute best game and lost to a Saints team that played well below their capabilities. If the Saints had played well, they'd have won by 20. The Colts were overrated and expected the Saints to throw in the towel early. When that didn't happen, they folded. Peyton Manning is famous for his playoff mistakes; anyone who thought the Saints wouldn't create a turnover is a fool. The best team in the NFL this year won the Super Bowl, hands down.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Pete

    Yes, they as much to the city as the Steelers mean to Pittsburgh, Raiders mean to Oakland, Lakers mean to LA, the Celtics mean to Boston etc.. you get the picture. Once again, the media steps in and makes it a bigger deal than what it is. The game between the Vikings and the Saints was a way better game then the Superbowl Get over it, move on and also BTW, Kim K. did not play in the Superbowl and Reggie didn't do that great of a job to help his team. Stop shoving them down our throat media.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Hamster

    Funny how people who have never even been out of their own state love to blather how the US "is the greatest country in the world". Yeah, that's why the Saints won and the viewership was so high: Good old USA kickassedness!

    February 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Hamster

    Yeah, Bull. Just like evolution is "just a theory".

    February 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Dave

    Interesting.... someone above mentioned the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in 1969. The estimated viewership of that event was 600 million people worldwide. That was the standing record until the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer (750 million people).

    Superbowl... you got a WAYS to go...

    February 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Will 18E

    Great Game, Very pleased with the outcome. Yet World CUP Football, and the America's Cup, are the worlds most viewed sporting events on TV, far eclipsing the NFL or MASH. the 1997 America's Cup had more viewers while broad cast on cable in the states than the super bowl that year.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Matt

    This is great and all, but I wonder how the networks and cable companies are able to charge the viewers a monthly fee to view programs with commerical while also pulling in profits from advertising.

    A standard one hour program runs 42 minutes long with 18 minutes of advertising. This means for every hour, 30% of the hour is being doubled billed with service fees and advertising.

    Personally, I would like to be payed for my time that is wasted on ads.

    The new ratings record equates only to high costs on services fee and advertising time.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Ken in NC

    82% huh and you wonder what the other 18% were watching. Well here is how it went down. They left their TV's on and went to the home of friends and had a Super Bowl Party while watching the game. Therefore it can be said that everyone was watching except the people that took naps before the game and died in their sleep and I would venture to say that since "The Saints" were playing, GOD probably had the game on up there too so they didn't miss a thing.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Laura

    All I can think about is the next generation of little mysogynists that will arise thanks to those commercials. Watching those, you'd think society hasn't progressed since the 50's. Thanks a lot, advertisers.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Sherri

    Kind of surprising to me. I watched the game, but virtually everyone I asked said that they really weren't interested in watching. Oh, well. I enjoyed it.

    February 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  48. steve

    wow, arguing about a game (and a really good one!). last few super bowls have been pretty good. its the blowouts that suck. this winter has made everybody a bunch of cranks. or is it the economy?

    answer me this; you know why soccer is played on grass and football on turf? because watching grass grow gives the viewers something interesting to get excited about.

    oh, the world watches blah...... nobody cares! this is american football and the nfl is its greatest game. not baseball or hoops even in march, its the nfl, period.
    and if theres a lockout next year, the nfl will be stepping on their wank. goddell better quit looking in the mirror so much and start busting some owners chops.

    February 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  49. NY

    Hey MOrons that are saying people snowed in had no choice but to watch the game, how about the 100,000's of people without power who couldn't watch the game and otherwise would have???

    February 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  50. joy

    I don't believe it ! Due to the fact they probably never took into consideration that the number of household with 1 or possibly 2 TV's to today when every room usually has a TV. So I don't believe it could be a fair compairson! But I did watch and I'm glad th Staints won!

    February 8, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  51. d

    The so-called "ratings" include people who were flipping channels to see what's on and happened across CBS. Still, that's a lot of channel flippers, no doubt caused by the Snowmageddon. All the call girls and dope dealers in New Orleans were undoubtedly very busy last night.

    February 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Johnny

    There are at least 75 million more people in this country than in 1983; or if you like, 33% more people than 28 years ago.

    February 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Joey

    You cant compare the Super Bowl to an international once every 4 year event. Where is the logic?I like Football & Futbol, but there is just no comparing the final of an American Football season and a never ending year for a premier Futbol player. Im not saying its better or anything, its just that in the NFL every season is a struggle to the top. Theres never "next year" or "next tournament". Intl futbol players are like mercenaries working year round. NFL players will maybe learn 3 schemes in a 10 year career. The physical toll as well cements the Super Bowl as the premier single game in sporting. Not just for fans but the players. Yes UEFA Finals are club but its almost always teams from 2 countries. So the whole country roots for their countries club. Still 106 million is probably all of Spain and France =/

    February 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Sege

    i cant believe that the saints actually beat the colts!

    February 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  55. will

    I watched the first quarter thought Saint was finished. But I really like the outcome that Saint won, include Colts everyone wanted New Orleans win. Great country, we all families.

    February 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  56. WEBGRANDMA1

    Yes, Mash had less population to account for the high tune in BUT there was also less to watch then. Now we have hundreds of choices so to beat that number, is a real defeat. GOOOOO SAINTS. I'm proud of our boys. I live in New Orleans and nobody can tell me about disasters anymore. We,the city, the State really needed this. BLESS YOU BOYS.

    February 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Mike

    I'm glad NO won. I am one of the snow bound, but I was not watching the game last night. I did not even know the score until this morning. I stopped watching the Super Bowl when they moved it to a night game, because they wanted to control and manipulate the viewership.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Well

    Even if these estimates are correct, the series finale of MASH still beats the pants off of the latest Super Bowl. If you estimate a US population of 230m in 1983 and a viewership of 105.97 million, you end up with a percentage of 46.07%. However, if you take a 2010 estimate of the US population and air on the side of caution with 300M, the percentage that watched the Super Bowl is just 35.5%.

    So take from this article what you will.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  59. michael

    I watched M*A*S*H, the movie, when it came out and laughed so hard I could hardly breathe, then watched the TV series when it was mainline TV, and now watch the reruns as much as possible ... wish there was more. I didn't watch 1 sec of this Super Bowl and not sorry that I missed it or any of the inane commercials or halftime nonsense. I guess the level of viewer intellegence/IQ has dropped to a point that would allow this to happen eventually. Glad it took this long!!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Arthur

    Well, congratulations to the New Orleans Saints. You people who would take glory away from the Saints, didn't grow up in Lousiana, nor do you have a clue about what passion this phenomenal team has done for the psych of the citizens of Louisiana. EVERYONE from every walk of life in Louisiana is absolutely thrilled and charged beyond what they could possibly imagine. For many, this is a testament to all of the hard work that many Lousianians have done to pull their states reputation up from out of the perception of a poor southern bottom scoring entity, to one that can compete with the best of this nation, and prove that THEY can be the BEST. With all the rings, all the banners, all the benefits that come with a superbowl champion bearing team, we have a pride that no one can take away.

    Thank you Saints.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Marketdude1025

    World Cup Tournament and Champions League will crush those figures come summertime

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  62. neworleans_la_lady

    What a wonderful way to begin the new year...The Saints are NFC champs AND Superbowl champs! For the devoted, passionate fans, this was another opportunity for people who love to get together with friends and family to do so for a few extra Sundays. How lucky for us! If the ratings were the highest (sorry to M*A*S*H) maybe it's because many outside Louisiana were cheering us on, wanting to see a great, historical city have a reason to celebrate. When the team wasn't a winner in the late '60s and throughout the '70s, the same passionate fans wore paper bags over their heads. Now we are holding our heads up high and finding out what "superbowl-win- jubillation" actually feels like. We now join (long overdo) all those other cities who have experienced this same thrill when their favorite team won the BIGGEST FOOTBALL GAME OF THE YEAR! It feels GREAT! Now we begin to celebrate Mardi Gras and a newly elected mayor! Thanks to all of those who have cheered us on! Outlook in New Orleans.... Nice and Breesy!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  63. RickRod

    This is all because Obama was pulling for the Saints!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Donna

    Okay, I remember what I was doing the night of the final episode of MASH. I missed a MASH party because my five year old son was sick. I watched it on TV by myself while wearing my MASH t-shirt. Who played in the super-bowl that year; I have no idea.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  65. saftgek

    Sunday's Super Bowl was yet another disappointment, as nearly all Super Bowl games are. A pretty good (Saints) team played their game – off and on – for about 2-1/2 quarters. An even better (Colts) team played their game for exactly 1 quarter, then layed down.

    When a team "backdoors" into a "championship," the trophy lacks the lustre of an earned win. Yes, the Saints' fans can feel good – shoot each other – and generally act like drunken dopes. They can all take credit for the "victory," yet having nothing to do with it.

    FYI: I had no dog in the fight. With the Commissioner's unwillingness to hold players, coaches and owners accountable for their reprehensible acts – on and off the field – the NFL has a very low level of credibility. With that, let's move on with life!

    February 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  66. John

    A kids game, and it draws all this attention. I think it speaks to the maturity of 100+ million people quite well.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  67. bill babishoff

    Not a very good game by my standards. I think there were only 5 or 6 good defensive plays the whole game. Not a lot of hitting, pretty boring. Give me the `85 bears any day.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  68. kay

    good job keep up the good work

    February 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Roy Dean

    Doesn't it frighten you that everyone assumes that 100% of households were watching TV last night?

    February 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Bets

    Yeah, this is what makes us the greatest nation in the world. No wonder we have such little empathy for the summer across the planet; we are too busy making sure we have enough chips for Super Bowl Sunday.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  71. scir91_from_YouTube

    MASH is meaningless for the new generation of kids. it is a show for old people or some other people from history as i hear kids say it today. the super bowl is TODAY's real life, not something from 30 years ago that played to the hearts of an older generation.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  72. murli

    I watched it and enjoyed it very much, although I live in CA.
    Go Saints!

    February 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Mick

    Slept through it

    February 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  74. CraigW

    I watched the final episode of M*A*S*H* and it really wasn't much better than the show had been for years which wasn't nearly as good as it was in the beginning when it used to be good.
    I think the numbers speak for themselves, if more people watched the Superbowl, then more people will remember it.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Michel

    A big part of the 18% are those of us who do not like football and had better things to do than watching football. I just checked CNN to see how won hoping it would be New Orleans.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Ceasar Elloie

    I would like to be allowed ask a question if I may......Does this sound familiar?" Who dat back there making all that noise"? "Who that in my refrigerator"? "Who dat left my kitchen dirty"? This was statement/question asked by Grandmothers as far as I know, Allover The South. If anyone is owner of this saying, it'll be the Grandmothers of the South......

    February 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Nick

    Go ahead and asterick every TV rating and baseball record after 1985 if what Jeff says is the case.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Peter

    As usual, apples and oranges.

    The Super Bowl is played every year.

    The M*A*S*H finale was a once-only event.

    It should only be compared to other once-only events (First Moon landing, Princess Di's funeral, etc.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  79. john

    "February 8th, 2010 3:57 pm ET
    A great game by the Saints, but long after this Super Bowl fades into distant memory the final episode of M*A*S*H will continued to be remembered and move people"

    Nice that you feel that way but thought I certainly didn't hate it, I was not a big fan of MASH and don't remember the finale at all.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Lefaid

    With all of this nationalism talk we have to admit that this game not only brings America together and is a major part of our nationalist spirt. That is why so many people watch it. Now, does that make us the greatest country in the world that we all tune in to watch an American football game? No, but it does help define us as Americans.

    With all of this talk about the World Cup and what not, does that really matter? Are you bitter because Americans prefer their American football over what the rest of the world considers football? Why does that matter? The fact is many Americans tuned into this event and that it is now the most watched event in American History amongst Americans. We do not need to hate on that fact and whining about it is not going to change anything

    February 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Bubba

    I think all of the people who remember and were moved by M*A*S*H will soon move into distant memory...

    February 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Jeff

    As a former TV research analyst for ABC, NBC and 20th Century Fox (when the final episode of M*A*S*H aired) I can congratulate the Super Bowl as having the "most viewers."
    However, there is a term called "share" which measures the percentage of TV's watching a program in a given time period. The term share removes the increase in the number of viewers today versus the number of viewers in1983.
    In 1983 there were no measurement tools for outside of home viewing (such as bars).
    Until all the data is in I am willing to call New Orleans the NFL Champions in football, and the with the most "viewers". However I do not think they had the highest share of audience within their time frame, and just like Barry Bonds, I think an asterick should be included with this record.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  83. aakunji

    Ibet most of the viewers were snowed in over the weekend

    February 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Bill Berry

    Please stop with the negative commentary about the World Cup. For Canada it is hockey, for much of the rest of the world it is Soccer and us American Football. Sports bring people together, not what sport is better than the others or the rest. I'll take footballs, baseballs, soccer balls and hockey putts than bullets and IEDs. The New Orleans Saints is a wonderful, wonderful feel good story for any of us who have undergone and experienced what that region of the country underwent 5 years ago. We don't have the right to put down other parts of the world and their beloved sports for if we do, we're no better than those who felt New Orleans deserved to be wiped off the map following our local, state and federal response to that region. The state of Louisiana and Mississippi embraced the New Orleans Saints; period. It will be no different when South Africa hosts the 2010 World Cup and whomever wins it later this summer.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  85. SuperBowlFan

    Great game, great commercials. Grats to the Saints fans (I'm a Vikings fan)

    Many posts on here miss the point. It's a game. It's entertainment. It's a feel good story of a city comming back from disaster. Just sit back and enjoy. No need to pull out the "My -- is bigger then yours" arguements. Chill out people.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Nick

    If you're going to dispute the Nielson ratings as inaccurate then those same ratings for the MASH finale are based upon the same system and are just as inaccurate.

    And you're insane if you think the Colts wanted the Saints to win the game.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  87. GODZILLA1

    A great win for the Saints and for the Queen City of the South. Way to Go!

    February 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Bill Berry

    When the Saints stole a possession from the Colts to start the 3rd quarter and they scored a TD it felt from then on it would be a shoot out and whomever had the ball last would win. It didn't matter that the Porter intercepted Manning. Was their too much clock left for Manning to get his team into the end zone and attempt the onside kick themselves. It would have been a shame had the game gone to OT and whoever won the coin toss went right down the field and won the game; then once and for all that damn rule would be changed. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and yes, I had tears in my eyes. I went to high school on the west bank and was there for the brown bags. The game felt like New Orleans past 5 years...the first quarter...Katrina and the next three the rebuilding of a unique city and culture culminating with sweet victory. Mardi Gras as it should be.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  89. john

    The other 18% were at the game

    February 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Bill of Alabama

    I think Nielsen is right on with this one. 1) all the snowed in people helped. 2) due to our economic reality (with no signs of improvement this year) people are choosing to watch tv for cheap entertainment 3) weak line ups on tv. 4) last but not least, I think viewers see sports as positive vs negative news and disfunctional lives played out on prime time. How many players in your life have you seen get divorced, robbed, arrested, flooded, earthquaked, debated, defriended, texted, sued, car jacked, acquire H1N1 and then have sex with another player "live on the field" and on tv "during a play?" Thats all after the game.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  91. SaintSinner Princess

    Call Barney Stinson!!!!

    Geaux Saints!!!!

    Who Dat??

    February 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Cnett

    Most watched show ever. Football is great.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Leonie

    Johnny O. based on your writing I guess soccer is too deep for you hence boooring. I would guess a combination of mental and physical skills can prove to be just that. You need to travel and broaden your horizon, and stop this misinformed ranting in your post.

    Go Saints!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Roadster

    Columbus Ohio was not that buried in snow and quite a few people I know were committed to watching that game; rooting for the underdogs. But coming from a town that has a Big Ten team, Columbus does love the game, so I can see the 70% hitting around here!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Amy

    Another thing for you guys who are debating nielson ratings. Nielson ratings are done by random sample of the nation to represent the entire nation so it doesn't matter if it was DVR or if you and a group of people watched in together in one house. Nielson ratings are done by a monitor that people agree to have in their house and it literally monitors everything they watch. These monitors are randomly distributed through out the country so their viewership numbers are based on the calculation of viewership in the monitored group compared to the monitored group as a whole vs the monitored group compared to the nation as a whole. It is not off of each individual television in the nation.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Wut Dat

    Welcome to New Orleans, Vince
    Now the Saints have a Super Bowl Trophie

    February 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  97. SCJBuffalo

    Sports, the original reality TV only better.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Manning

    What in god's name are you people arguing about?

    Oscar W is just plain mean.

    And to compare soccer and football is like comparing tennis and basketball. If you like soccer, great! If you like football, lets hang out. But to riddicule people because more people watch soccer? Rediculious.

    By the way, the NFL went to Mexico a few years back and SOLD OUT the 120,000+ person SOCCER stadium to a bunch of people who don't even know who the Cardinals or the 49ers' are! So given a chance, I think viewership would be stiff competition. Course Mexico will have to get some pads.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  99. OscarW

    Alex,

    "When World Cup is watched by 2 billion people come back and talk about it. World Cup, huh, an even viewed by less than 1% in the US."

    I came back to talk about it. It already is watched by more than 2 billion.

    This article was about the Superbowl and ratings. My other comments were a response solely to what another poster wrote.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  100. natie

    what a great game.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Amy

    Mash still out ranks The Superbowl if you consider the information in perspective to the facts. Read Below:

    You know the percentage different is very small between viewership on mash and viewership on the superbowl game. In all reality mash still probably holds the record if you take population into account. The population was much smaller when mash aired its last episode than when this superbowl game took place. Referencing infoplease.com/ipa/A0004997.html the population in 1980 was 226,545,805 where as the population in 2000 was 281,421,906 . A difference of 54,876,101. the difference in viewership between this years superbowl and the last episode of mash was 0.53 million or aproximatley 1/2 a million which is 500,000 people. Compare 500,000 to 54,876101 and there is a huge difference. And Remember that the 2000 data is 10 years old this(2010) is a new census year so there is probably a significant growth to the current population numbers. S even with the difference as much as it is remeMber that it more than likely is far greater, meaning Mash still had a greater percentage of the population that the Superbowl.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  102. brye taylor

    i think it is fnatastic that the saints won the super bowl for the first time a couple years after a horrific hurricane and that drew brees brought the team together to win the super bowl. I think it is fantastic that they even made it to the playoff;s even though from the past they have been one of if not the worst teams in the league.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Marcus Hackett

    that 38.6 million that tuned in to watch undercover boss, televisions was still tuned to the cbs cause everybody was still partying from the game....i think only 1.6 million really watched the show....

    February 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  104. flo

    All Washingtonians were held hostage indoors after having 25 plus inches of snow dumped in their city. Ladies who would have been at the mall were at the TV.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Marv

    I didn't watch the game, because I don't like football. But
    I guess it's a great excuse to get together and overload
    on munchies and beer.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Andrew

    Did they take into account the differences in population from 25 years ago? How about the number of TVs per household?

    The numbers don't add up properly.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Johnny O.

    Statistics can be so misleading. Of course more people watch soccer – world wide. Other countries don't have any other sports that they can watch and cheer for their country's team! If the only sports teams they all had played ping pong, ping pong would be "the most popular sport in the world."

    If they had Football, Basketball and Baseball for 20 years, no one would watch soccer any more. Soccer cannot compete in the U. S. because it's soooo BOOOORING!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  108. Confused

    So all this talk about soccer, car racing, tennis, olympics, etc has me confused. This article is about the Superbowl viewing in the U.S. Of course soccer and the world cup has more viewers than the superbowl. IT HAS THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING IT!!! Come on, think people!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  109. redisgreat Claytonia, NC

    Finally something has driven a wooden stake into the heart of the vapid pap that was M*A*S*H. Thank you Saints. My dad in heaven was dancing and singing so loud I could hear him down here.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  110. David

    I also enjoyed "Undercover Boss" way more than the game. THat looks like it will be a great show.

    Can't wait for the "Hooters" CEO on next week's show.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Tony Justin

    What was the MASH finale? Wasn't that some derivative TV show that was a pale imitation of the groundbreaking Robert Altman movie starring Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland?

    February 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  112. David

    I saw both yesterday's game and the last episode of M.A.S.H.

    Trust me... the last episode of M.A.S.H. was better.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  113. Jack Cole

    The Super Bowl is to the US as was the Olympics were the Greece thousands of years ago. Watching some of the richest people on Earth duel it out and a flat field over a ball and using pure intellect and muscle. It's no surprise why so many people watch it, it's not a bunch of acting and pretending like MASH is. It's humanity down to it's basic pack instincts. Not just a rag tag of individuals, but the world's most elite individuals.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Don

    "The other 18% probably turned on their TV and left the house to watch the game elsewhere" – actually, it said 82% "of TV-watching households"; that didn't count TVs that were turned off.

    "I'm just wondering how many people watched the World Cup, Olympics or Lady Diana's funeral?" – in the USA, the World Cup doesn't draw that well, Diana's funeral was early on a Saturday morning (something like 6-7 AM Eastern, I think), and "the Olympics" is a multi-day event.

    Still, I would like to know where the Super Bowl ranked against the last episode of M*A*S*H or "Who Shot JR?". or even other Super Bowls, in terms of rating (percentage of households, including those with TVs turned off, that were watching).

    February 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Alex

    Nobody cares about worldwide numbers. The population of the US is 1/20th of the world. When World Cup is watched by 2 billion people come back and talk about it. World Cup, huh, an even viewed by less than 1% in the US.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Matt

    MASH? I'm almost 30 years old and have never seen a full episode – moving? I think not. I think I'll remember the Saints win -

    February 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  117. V

    The article was about how it was watched more than the season finale of M*A*S*H, not about nationalism (ridiculous, no sport makes any country the best), nor was it about competition with other countries, or making the world a better, safer, smarter, whatever, place. It was a sporting event.

    It was great watching the Saints win, inspiring in the "underdogs pull it out" sense, nothing more, nothing less.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  118. Matt

    M.A.S.H....don't really care about. Now the Super Bowl...thats something I could watch

    February 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Steve

    Having about 1/3 of the country tuned into the game speaks about the quality of life we enjoy in the USA, that we can spend time watching and caring about this event. Sure we have problems, big ones, to be sure, but we have built a pretty good society; we must remember that and what it took to get us even this far. Maybe that is what some of the detractors of the USA should look at – they could have this, too rather than fighting over who gets to live where and which version of prayer is better than the rest. If we stopped all war today, there would be plenty of resources to provide housing, clothing, food, education and access to healthcare for every person on this planet. Then we would all be free to enjoy moments like last nights game.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  120. ken ervin sac ca

    let New Orleans bask in their much deserved spotlight people. this is a good thing for everybody,even for the Colts,

    February 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  121. morgans

    Really? You think the Colts wanted the Saints to win? I am sure that is what the Colts players have been dreaming about since they were 5 years old, I want to make it to the Super Bowl so the other team can win.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  122. Mike

    Dan: You one of those East coast is the center of the universe people?(like New Yorkers do)
    So what if there was a blizzard ?
    People would have been watching the game anyway.
    Just like they always do-
    Yes the press painted the underdog portrait even heavier than your snowfall but a win is a win and highest rating is highest rating-.
    Accept that.
    BTW I am In Dallas and I was watching the game(no snow here).

    February 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  123. D Frost

    Headline: "3 shot during celebration." Response should be "that's awful" but unfortunately, "that's it? comes to mind." Maybe NO is improving. Happy NO won the SuperBowl, but it's one city I will no longer go to NO for any reason. Dangerous, dirty, and nasty. Great football team though!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  124. morgans

    Greatest slice of Americana you can have? Really? Watching millionares tackle eachother in tights? You need to get out of the house more often. This will help N.O. for a week, if that and back to the same life for everyone. How about the people being shot in NO, is that Americana at it's best? I lovee how the players are always like this is for the fans, but the AINTS got off the plane and drove right away without talking to the fans or the press. Hint....they could care less about the fans....they just want the money....

    February 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  125. webster

    Says something about a nation where one of the top passtimes is watching millionaires toss around a ball. The politicians areout all crying about CEO pay but what about athelete pay, especially when half of them are some combination of thugs, steriod abusers and drug addicts.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Chuck

    There is nothing in this article about soccer. So why do you soccer folks feel the need to say anything at all?

    February 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Tom

    I agree with Oscar. Enjoy the game. Leave the rah-rah nationalism behind. Do we win some kind of award for being the greatest country in the world? You can love your country without having to proclaim it better than all others. The people who say that sort of thing typically have not spent much time outside of the USA.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  128. jjs09

    Glad to see the Saints win. It was a great game.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  129. jt

    @ SAINT, really "greatest nation" because people watch the super bowl. it is that myopic vision that also allows cbs to call the saints "world champions" when they only play the game in this country at a professional level.

    hate to burst your bubble, but soccer and car racing have significantly higher numbers of tv and crowd participation all over the world, including this, the "greatest nation."

    Congrats Saints!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  130. Sean

    Apparently 38.6 million were too drunk to turn off their TVs when "Undercover Boss" came on after the contest.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  131. WHO DAT

    Obviously, viewing soccer on TV isn't very big in the United States, which is the nation this article is about. The Saints were 3-13 in 2005, the year of Katrina. Here, just a few years later they have fought back all the way to their first superbowl championship. Considering the fact that they hail from the great NOLA which was nearly completely destroyed just 5 years ago, I would say the Saints' story does in fact carry a nationalist message that Americans, and especially Lousianians, can be proud of. You can knock us down but we won't die.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Jonathan

    The high numbers are no surprise. Because of the mid atlantic snow storms, many people were unable to attend superbowl parties, or they had nothing to do, so more tvs were tuned in, bumping the Nielson numbers. We have another snowstorm coming Tuesday, so whatever is on that night will probably break some record as well.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Estelle

    I've already forgotten the last episode of MASH.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  134. morgans

    The world cup, tennis and formula 1 racing is watched far more than the superbowl worldwide.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  135. steve

    Do Nielsen ratings take into account DVR? I think that is of huge relevance when comparing the 2 viewerships, since not as many homes had a recording device (VCR) in 1983 as do now, and were thus compelled to watch live. I know I was at a party watching the superbowl, but DVR'd it as well. Seems like it easier to double-dip on the numbers today.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  136. Lao

    Make claims all you want to about Soccer or the World Cup. Nobody really cares in the US.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  137. BETTY B.

    This is my comments for my SuperBowl Champs. I am stationed overseas with my husband and would love to be there to celebrate with you. But since I cant be there, i wrote this shout out . It is a orginal from the heart. Look at what the letters and words represent. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU GUYS.

    New Orleans
    Emotionally
    Won

    Overcoming
    Ridicule
    Louisiana
    Excitedly
    Achieved
    NFL
    Super Bowl Championship

    Showing
    Americans
    Incredible
    New Orleans
    Team
    Spirit

    February 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  138. morgans

    That's smart nolapearl...leave your tv on when you leave the house...way to go green...

    February 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Larissa

    America loves football! I think it's awesome that the Saints won. Such a great story. And what's all this talk about the World Cup? I don't know a single person who watches it. I am sure there are a large number of people in the world but Football is America's sport, not soccer.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  140. Allen

    I didn't see the game. Superbowl Sunday is National Gay Shopping Day (except for the lesbians, of course). We had the mall to ourselves!

    Congratulations, Saints!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  141. Craig

    The 18% that the article author speaks of only includes people watching TV. So when the posits what the other 18% are watching, he means the 18% of people watching TV who did not watch the Super Bowl.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  142. ponder

    I was wondering about the Colts desire to really win this game. Would Precious (this is what my friends & I call Peyton and Eli is Semi-precious) really ever admit that he was hoping the Saints would win. We will never know....he seemed really upset with himself....so maybe "he" really wanted the win.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  143. John

    "I wonder what ratings would have been like if it were clear skies with temps in the 40s or 50s for much of the East Coast."

    It would have been dark out anyway and we would have been watching like we do every year since the invention of the Super Bowl. I started watching games in 1956 in Baltimore.

    Go Saints. What a year.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  144. JAFO

    The real question is why has it taken Super Bowl 27 years to accomplish this and after all the money spent on ads and publicity the Super Bowl gets....

    February 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Ruraltom

    I'm sure it was helped by the overwhelming numbers of folks essentially snowed in....

    February 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  146. OscarW

    Saint.

    "Totally proves that this really is the greatest nation in the world."

    Why, because a third of American's watched the biggest American sporting event? Where is your logic? If 200 million Indians watch the India vs. Pakistan cricket final that makes it the greatest nation? Pull your arrogant head out of where the sun don't shine.

    Congratulations to the Saints and the city of New Orleans. The Super Bowl is a fun event. Enjoy it for what it is and don't try to make this a nationalist message.

    In fact, soccer has the most amount of participants in the U.S. and NASCAR brings in huge crowds through the year.

    The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. I'm pretty sure the Olympics are too and wouldn't be surprised if some other events are bigger than the Super Bowl.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Ken

    M*A*S*H marked the end of an era. This game marked the beginning of a new one! Who Dat was finally answered!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Adam

    Another thing: how many people are actually watching the game? I hosted a party of about 15 people. The majority of the time people are talking to each other (and that includes commercials). In terms of actual viewership and personal investment, the World Cup trumps them all.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  149. jdf1963

    The other 18% couldn't watch because their TV had been stolen.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  150. Otto

    Yeah, I am not a sports fan but I watched the game. I wanted the "Who Dat" guys to win for a few reasons. They are playing their heart out, They played, not only for themselves and the rings; but for their City, State and country.

    I kinda believe the Colts also wanted them to win (my take) but no matter how you slice it; they played like it was their last day on planet Earth.

    The Undercover Boss show was very good and this is a example of what should be done by all bosses. I even liked the fact that he cried when the lady read the note. It really struck a nerve; way to go Waste Management.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  151. who dat

    I believe it. When I drove home at halftime the normally busy Peachtree in Atlanta was practically deserted.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  152. D.B.

    Without a doubt this is going to be the most watched program in the U.S. this year. But the Superbowl lost out the title of most watched program in the world last year to the UEFA Champions League final...by about 50 million people.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  153. Saint

    Greatest slice of Americana you could have. Totally proves that this really is the greatest nation in the world.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Michael

    (Speaking as a person who grew up in New Orleans, and who received regular updates on how Saints-crazy the city had gone, I have to wonder – what were the other 18 percent watching in the Crescent City?)

    Probably at a Superbowl party at another house... like DUH!!!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  155. Peter Alexander

    The other 18% were probably watching the game in the bars.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  156. santos84

    super ball only big USA, and some around the globe but nothing compares to a World Cup,even bigger than Olympics takes same amount of time to prepare for it.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Randy Parihar

    I'm just wondering how many people watched the World Cup, Olympics or Lady Diana's funeral?

    February 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  158. Dan

    Doesn't hurt that a significant chunk of cities on the east coast were buried in snow so folks had nothing else to do than watch the game. I wonder what ratings would have been like if it were clear skies with temps in the 40s or 50s for much of the East Coast.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Brian Schroeder

    A great game by the Saints, but long after this Super Bowl fades into distant memory the final episode of M*A*S*H will continued to be remembered and move people.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  160. nolapearl

    The other 18% probably turned on their TV and left the house to watch the game elsewhere. We did.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  161. Bull

    I think whoever came up with this info got it wrong.Estimates are just that.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |

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