Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Super Bowl seen by 97.5m viewers

Tom Petty
Tom Petty provided musical entertainment at half-time

The Super Bowl was seen by an average audience of 97.5m, making it the second most-watched show in US TV history, according to official figures.

Only 1983's season finale of sitcom MASH drew more viewers than American football's showpiece, which saw the New York Giants score a last-minute win.

It is the most-viewed Super Bowl ever, beating the 94m audience set in 1996, say analysts Nielsen Media.

The game's audience peaked at more than 105m during the contest's last phase.

Famous names

The nail-biting climax to the game, in which the Giants beat the New England Patriots, is thought to have added to the TV broadcast's average audience, while some 143 million Americans are estimated to have watched at some point.

The writers' strike, which has disrupted much of primetime TV, is also thought to have contributed to the buoyant viewing figures.

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys performed before the game got under way

More than 80% of viewers in the Boston area were tuned to Sunday's spectacle, while the figure was 67% in New York.

In the UK, unofficial overnight figures showed an average of 700,000 people tuned in for the first three-and-a-quarter hours of coverage on BBC Two, with a further 173,000 watching on Sky Sports 1.

At the end of the match, some 300,000 people were watching on BBC Two at 0300 GMT.

Musician Tom Petty performed during the interval, following in the footsteps of a series of famous names who have played the Super Bowl, including the Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney.

In 2004, Janet Jackson's performance went down in history when she suffered a "wardrobe malfunction" and exposed her breast.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to impose a $550,000 (280,000) indecency fine on the CBS network.

The broadcaster is still challenging the fine in court.

Giants comeback stuns New England
04 Feb 08 |  American Football
Super Bowl draws 93m US viewers
06 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Stones' Super Bowl songs censored
06 Feb 06 |  Entertainment

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