One of the most boring Super Bowl games in history was also the most watched U.S. TV show in history.
That’s right: According to updated Nielsen estimates, Sunday’s telecast of Super Bowl 2014 on Fox (FOXA) garnered a history-making 111.5 million viewers.
That’s a lot of people watching Peyton Manning’s career crumble at one time.
The 43-8 massive upset by the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos was hyped as a competitive game that ended up being one of the most lopsided games in Super Bowl history.
Sunday’s big haul means the Super Bowl has established the all-time U.S. viewership high in six of the last seven years. The previous record holders for most-watched events in U.S. TV history were 2012′s Super Bowl, seen by 111.3 million, and the 2010 game, with 111 million viewers. Last year’s game on CBS between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers ended up averaging 108.69 million viewers.
(Sunday’s average viewership was actually 112.6 million if you include the 528,000 who watched on digital platforms … and the 561,000 who watched the Spanish-language feed on FOX Deportes.)
Neilsen estimates that a more competitive game would have garnered even more viewers.
Meanwhile, over at PBS, those who weren’t into sports and overhyped advertising marketing tuned into the crossover hit Downton Abbey, which averaged 6.8 million viewers in the 9 p.m. hour.
It was the most-watched non-sports show in its timeslot.