Super Bowl XLVIII most-watched program in American TV history

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Super Bowl XLVIII lacked the drama of most other recent editions, but the television ratings did not suffer from the Seahawks' 43-8 blowout of the Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Fox announced Monday that Nielsen data indicated the game averaged 111.5 million viewers, surpassing the Giants' victory over the Patriots two years ago (111.3 million) as the most-viewed program in American television history.

The game averaged 46.4 percent of homes, tying last year's game and two others as the seventh-highest-rated Super Bowl in percentage terms.

In the New York area, 50.5 percent of homes tuned in -- the best rating for a Super Bowl in the market since 53.4 percent of homes saw the Giants beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XXI in 1987.

In other words, Sunday's rating in New York beat those of the past four Super Bowls in which the Giants played.

The Denver market usually is among the strongest in the NFL when the Broncos are playing, but apparently many fans there turned away early -- for understandable reasons. Denver ranked 10th with a 51.4 rating.

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The No. 1 market? Kansas City, at 58.1, where many people presumably enjoyed watching the Chiefs' rival go down hard.

Seattle came in second at 56.7 -- plus an astronomical "share" of 92, which measures the percentage of TVs actually in use that were tuned into the game.

The halftime show featuring Bruno Mars averaged 115.3 million viewers, surpassing the previous record of 114.0 million for Madonna two years ago.

The game also was a social media hit, inspiring 25.3 million tweets written by 5.6 million people.

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