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.