NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 114.4 million people watched New England’s thrilling win over Seattle, making it the fifth time in six years that a Super Bowl game has set a record for the most-watched event in U.S. television history.
The viewership eclipses the 112.2 million who watched Seattle beat Denver in the 2014 game, the Nielsen company said. The game also set standards for social media and online.
But that finish — a circus catch to put the Seahawks on the doorstep of a last-minute win and a game-saving interception by the Patriots’ Malcolm Butler — kept viewers glued to the tube. An estimated 120.3 million people were watching during the last 10 minutes that the game was being shown, according to Nielsen. Lazarus said there were likely even more viewers, because Nielsen doesn’t count people watching in sports bars, for example.
Facebook said an estimated 65 million people conversed about the game on the social media site, more than any other Super Bowl and second only to two World Cup games last year for most talked-about events. There were some 265 million individual posts, comments or “likes,” according to Facebook.
The moment drawing the most Facebook comments was just after the Patriots sealed the 28-24 victory, with the second being when Perry soared through stadium for her “Firework” finale to her show.
Twitter estimated there were 28.4 million tweets posted between the kickoff and 30 minutes after the game’s conclusion, surpassing last year’s game to be the most tweeted-about Super Bowl ever. It was second only to the 35.6 million tweets sent about last year’s World Cup semifinal between Brazil and Germany.
Butler’s interception really set the Twitter engines revving, with an estimated 395,000 tweets per minute, with 379,000 tweets per minute coming when the game actually ended, according to Twitter.
The television record came despite other options to view it. NBC Sports offered a live stream of the game to desktop computers and tablets, and an average of 800,000 people per minute were following the game in this manner, according to Adobe Analytics. Last year’s game streamed by Fox had an average audience of 528,000 viewers.
An additional 600,000 watched the game with Spanish-language announcers on the NBC Universo cable network, Lazarus said.
An estimated 26.5 million people kept their sets on to watch an episode of NBC’s “The Blacklist” following the game, making it the most-watched scripted program on the network in more than a decade.