We know things have been rough for NBC of late, and that it deserves every bit of hard-fought glory it can grab. Stiil, that's no excuse to claim 151 million people watched Super Bowl XLIII.
That's not to say there wasn't some vindication in the averaged numbers, which Nielsen revised today to confirm that the game has history's most-watched with 98.5 million viewers. The figures aligned closer with NBC's preliminary estimate, and were accompanied by the network's head of research half-assedly forgiving Nielsen's error. "They are looking into the problem," we're told. "But the final report card is accurate: This Super Bowl is the most-watched program in television history."
Wait, what? Doesn't the final episode of M*A*S*H still hold that distinction with 106 million viewers? Not if you count virtually anyone who watched so much as a few commercials or an instant-review break, which NBC is reportedly doing on the way to claiming a final tally of 151.6 million viewers Sunday night. Way to set a precedent, team — which in turn sets us up for even more creative network revisions and, naturally, a full season order of Knight Rider, which minutes ago we were surprised to learn actually drew 77 million viewers at its peak. And you don't even want to know what a retroactive smash Rosie Live! was. Thanks for nothing, Nielsen.
- NBC claims Super Bowl the most-watched event ever [The Live Feed]