It was not the record CBS was hoping for. But an average of 111.9 million viewers watched its broadcast of Super Bowl 50, making the Denver Broncos’ victory over the Carolina Panthers the third-watched telecast in TV history. It hit its highest numbers (115.5 million viewers) between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., according to Live + Same Day data from Nielsen.
The top two rated telecasts remain last year’s Super Bowl, with 114.94 million viewersfor New England vs. Seattle, and 2014’s game, with 112.10 million viewers for Seattle vs. Denver.
Streaming coverage of Super Bowl 50 on CBS and NFL digital properties were particularly prominent at 3.96 million unique viewers across laptops, desktops, tablets, connected TV devices and mobile phones. Viewers consumed more than 402 million minutes of coverage, each more than an average of 101 minutes.
Airing out of The Super Bowl, "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" delivered 21.12 million viewers from 10:54 p.m. to 12:02 a.m., which was the late-night talk franchise’s biggest audience since "The Late Show" began in 1995. And out of the late local news from 12:37 to 1:33 a.m., "The Late Late Show with James Corden" hit a series record of 4.97 million viewers.
The following is a ranking of the top 10 most-watched programs in TV history. Nine out of 10 remain Super Bowl broadcasts.
Super Bowl XLIX (NBC: Feb. 1, 2015): 114.4 million
Super Bowl 50 (CBS: Feb. 7, 2016): 112.2 million
Super Bowl XLVII (CBS: Feb. 3, 2013): 111.9 million
Super Bowl XLV (Fox: Feb. 6, 2011): 111.3 million
Super Bowl XLVI (NBC: Feb. 5, 2012): 111.0 million
Super Bowl XLVIII (FOX: Feb. 2, 2014): 108.7 million
Super Bowl XLIV (CBS: Feb. 7, 2010): 106.5 million
Super Bowl XLII (Fox: Feb. 3, 2008): 106.0 million
Super Bowl XXXVII (ABC: Jan. 26, 2003): 98.7 million
Super Bowl XXXVIII (CBS: Feb. 1, 2004): 97.5 million