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Super Bowl smashes M*A*S*H

After 27 years, it finally is time for the venerable series finale of M*A*S*H to say goodbye, farewell and amen to its status as the most-watched American television program.

The NFL capped a season of record-shattering viewership by attracting an average of 106.5 million people for Super Bowl XLIV, surpassing the Feb. 28, 1983, episode of M*A*S*H, which attracted 106 million in a nation with about 75 million fewer residents.

The figure easily surpassed last year's Super Bowl, which had been the previous record holder for an American sports event with 98.7 million viewers.

The rating, which measures the percentage of homes tuned it, averaged 45.0, the best such figure since 1996, when the Cowboys and Steelers averaged 46.0 in a less fractured media environment.

(The M*A*S*H finale’s rating was 60.2, a percentage likely unapproachable today.)

Between 9 and 9:30 p.m., the game attracted an average of 114.1 million viewers, 48.5 percent of all U.S. homes and 70 percent of those with a television in use.

A record 153.4 million viewers watched at least six minutes of the game.

New York Sports