Super Bowl XLVIII is highest-rated television program of all time

The most lopsided Super Bowl in 21 years registered the highest rating in U.S. television history Sunday night.

Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox wasn't much of a game after the Seattle Seahawks got a 22-point first-half lead on the Denver Broncos, but the average audience of 111.5 million people rated higher than the previous mark of 111.3 set on NBC for Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, a game that came down to the final play.

The game was seen in an average of 46.4 percent of U.S. television households, according to Fox, via Nielsen. The ratings were boosted by a strong audience for halftime performers Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who registered 115.3 million viewers — higher totals than the 110.8 million to watch Beyonce last year or the prior record of 114.0 million set by Madonna in 2012.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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