CINCINNATI — NEW YORK (AP) — The Nielsen company estimates that 101.1 million people watched the Cincinnati Bengals play the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on NBC and Telemundo.
That's an increase over last year's game won by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which had 92 million television viewers.
Another close finish capped a thrilling playoff season for the NFL, which had several games decided in the last minute.
Nielsen said that another 11.2 million people streamed the game on their devices, giving a total viewership of 112.3 million people.
In Cincinnati, 84 percent of homes with a TV on were watching the Super Bowl.
The increase defies television trends lately, where most programs are down from year to year because streaming provides extra choices and lets people control when they watch.
The NFL says it was the most watched TV show in five years, with the last show to pull in more viewers was Super Bowl 51 in 2017, when the Patriots led the best comeback in Super Bowl history to beat the Falcons. It was the only Super Bowl ever to go to overtime.
Here are some fast facts from the NFL on the game's viewership:
- Super Bowl LVI viewership on NBC peaked at 104.4 million from 7:45-8:00 p.m. ET
- The game (6:35-10:09 p.m. ET) averaged 99.2 million viewers on NBC – topping by 4% last year's game (95.2 million for Chiefs-Buccaneers).
- The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show on NBC, starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, along with special guest 50 Cent, averaged 103.4 million viewers from 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET – topping last year's halftime show by 7% (96.7 million from 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET).
- Telemundo on Sunday became the first-ever Spanish-language broadcast network to air the Super Bowl and averaged 1.9 million viewers – by far the most-watched NFL game in U.S. Spanish-language history.