Super Bowl viewership may be headed toward a record

By: associated press
By: associated press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Nielsen people's very preliminary findings from 49 of the nation's biggest markets show that ratings for the New York Giants' Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots were up 6 percent over last year's big game.

Experts say those numbers indicate the game has a strong shot at being the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, and the second most-watched broadcast ever.

The game had a 44.7 rating and 66 share, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's up from the 42.0 rating and 63 share in metered markets last year, when the Colts topped the Bears. There's no estimate yet as to how many people watched the game.

The most-watched telecast of all time was the 1983 finale of "M-A-S-H," seen by 106 million people. The most-watched Super Bowl ever was the 1996 game between Dallas and Pittsburgh, with 94.1 million viewers.

According to Nielsen, last year's game between Indianapolis and Chicago was seen by 93.2 million people.

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