Super Bowl Blowout Draws Record TV Audience to Fox

A U.S. record 112.2 million people watched the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 blowout win over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Fox television.

The Feb. 2 game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was seen in an average of 46.7 percent of U.S. television households, Fox Sports said today in an e-mail, citing revised Nielsen data. The company previously reported an audience of 111.5 million, also a record, and a 46.4 rating.

The annual National Football League championship is routinely the most-watched event on U.S. television, with last year’s matchup drawing an audience of 108.7 million. This year’s broadcast of the three hour, 25 minute game eclipsed the record of 111.3 million viewers set by the 2012 Super Bowl, according to Nielsen.

The showdown pitted the Seahawks, with the No. 1 defense in the league, against the Broncos’ top-rated offense. It was the first time in five years that the No. 1 seed from each conference met for the Lombardi trophy.

Advertisers including at least seven automotive brands paid an average of $4 million for 30 seconds of air time, along with as much as $2 million to produce their commercials, according to Kantar Media. Carmakers as a group were the single biggest sponsors for the third straight year.

21st Century Fox Inc., parent of the network, rose 2.5 percent to $31.64 at 2:21 p.m. in New York. Class A shares of the company, controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, rose 56 percent in 2013.

Halftime Show

The Super Bowl halftime show, featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, attracted 115.3 million viewers, Fox said, topping the 110.8 million who tuned in last year for Beyonce and the 114 million Madonna attracted two years ago.

The Spanish language channel Fox Deportes averaged 561,000 viewers, which Fox said was the largest for a non-soccer event in Spanish cable history. The streamed telecast also set an audience record for a single sports event, Fox said.

Separately, Nielsen said the game generated 25.3 million tweets from 5.6 million unique users of the Twitter Inc. microblogging service, reaching a unique audience of 15.3 million people. Total tweets fell from 26.1 million a year earlier.

The most-tweeted ad was a commercial from Allstate Corp.’s Esurance unit featuring actor John Krasinski offering Twitter users a chance to win $1.5 million, the amount the auto insurer said it saved by buying its spot after the game concluded.

Nielsen said 1.22 million Twitter users sent out 1.85 million messages with the #EsuranceSave30 message need to enter the sweepstakes. The winner will be announced Feb. 5 on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC.

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