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2012 Super Bowl: Most Watched TV Program Of All-Time

Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI was the most watched television program in the United States of all-time. 166.8 million total viewers saw the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots 21-17 for the second time in the last four years. It should not come as such breaking news that the Super Bowl was watched by so many people, as the top 21 television shows of all-time have all been Super Bowls.

Last year's Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers had been the most-watched TV program with 162.9 million viewers until it was topped this year. Interestingly, the next three most-watch shows of all-time were the three prior Super Bowls in order.

Most-Watched TV Programs, Total Viewers


Total Viewers

Super Bowl XLVI (Giants-Patriots), 2/5/12

166.8 million

Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers), 2/6/11

162.9 million

Super Bowl XLIV (Colts-Saints), 2/7/10

153.4 million

Super Bowl XLIII (Cardinals-Steelers), 2/1/09

151.6 million

Super Bowl XLII (Giants-Patriots), 2/3/08

148.3 million

Source: NFL, The Nielsen Company