Super Bowl XLIII was seen by an estimated average of 95.4 million people, making it the second most-watched Super Bowl in history, behind only the 97.5 million who saw last year's game.
It also was the third-largest viewership for an American TV program, behind the "M*A*S*H" finale in 1983, at 106 million, and Super Bowl XLII. Previously, the second most-viewed Super Bowl was the Steelers-Cowboys game in January 1996, with 94.1 million.
Viewership totals tend to rise over time because of the growing U.S. population.
Final ratings, which measure the percentage of homes watching, will not be available until today, but the "overnight" figure for major markets showed the game averaged a 42.1 - in line with Super Bowls XL and XLI, but behind the huge 44.7 for the Giants- Patriots thriller.
The number likely will fall slightly in the full national ratings to around 41.0. Only once since 1972 has the final Super Bowl rating fallen below 40 - for the 49ers' 55-10 blowout of the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV in January 1990.
New York ranked 46th among markets in the overnight report with a rating of 37.9. Last year, that figure was 44.9, thanks to the Giants' involvement.
An estimated 147 million people watched at least six minutes of Sunday's game, also the second-highest figure for a Super Bowl. The average audience peaked at 100.5 million from 9:30 to 10 p.m.