Goodbye, Farewell and Amen! The reign of M*A*S*H is over. Unlike the members of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphin team who get all bent out of shape when their legacy might be eclipsed, it is probably safe to say that Alan Alda is not as concerned that the series finale of M*A*S*H had its 27 year run as the most watched television show ever was eclipsed by the CBS Sports broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV last night.
How big was the audience? Nielsen estimates show that over 106 million people, and 51.7 million households, tuned in for at least part of the show.
The Joy of Victory: New Orleans Saints quarterback and Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees celebrates with his wife Brittany and son Baylen Robert after the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on February 7 2010. UPI/Rob Hobson
Here are the preliminary numbers for the top 5 local markets, and the top-5 all time ratings for the Super Bowl.
TOP 5 LOCAL MARKETS, SUPER BOWL XLIV Market Rating Share Households (000) New Orleans 56.3 82 357 Washington, DC 56 73 1307 Nashville 54.4 73 554 Indianapolis 54.2 80 607 Columbus, OH 54 74 488 Source: The Nielsen Company
TOP FIVE MOST WATCHED SUPER BOWLS OF ALL TIME Super Bowl Date Network Teams Avg. # of Viewers (000) XLIV Feb 7, 2010* CBS New Orleans-Indianapolis 106,480 XLIII Feb 1, 2009* NBC Arizona-Pittsburgh 98,732 XLII Feb 3, 2008* FOX NY Giants-New England 97,448 XXX Jan. 28, 1996 NBC Dallas-Pittsburgh 94,080 XLI Feb 4, 2007* CBS Chicago-Indianapolis 93,184 Source: The Nielsen Company
* Live + Same Day Viewing Estimates Include DVR Playback On The Same Day, Defined As 3AM-3AM