NY Giants Super Bowl Victory Breaks Audience Record

$2.7 million for 30-seconds suddenly looks like a great deal for advertisers who ponied up big dollars to advertise in arguably the best Super Bowl game ever.

Fox, which ared the game, said Monday that an average of 97.5 million people watched last night’s Super Bowl. That breaks the old record set in 1996. It was not unexpected, because the New England Patriots were trying to make history, and the New York Giants, which won the game are in the no. 1 media market.

Advertisers, though couldn’t have counted on such a riveting, close game that would have viewers eyeballs glued to the TV screen until the last seconds, and then well into the post-game.

The figure, measured by Nielsen Media Research, comes close to matching the most-watched network-TV program of all time: the last episode of M*A*S*H, which reached nearly 106 million viewers. The previously most-watched Super Bowl took place in 1996 on NBC, when about 94.1 million viewers watched the game. About 93 million viewers watched the 2007 Super Bowl.

Fox also reported that 107.5 million viewers watched the last half hour of the contest. That means casual viewers who had been in and out of the game came back to it, or started watching late when the game was still so close. Usually, the beginning of the game is the premium ad spot. But in a nail-biter, it works the other way.

MySpace.com, which like Fox is owned by News Corp., said its Super Bowl “profile,” which contained all the Super Bowl ads saw more than 14.5 million views as of Monday afternoon.

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