Broncos Upset Helps CBS Set Third-Biggest TV Audience Ever

  • Telecast falls shy of audience totals for 2015 and 2014 games
  • Average 1.4 million viewers per minute sets streaming record

The Denver Broncos’ upset victory over the Carolina Panthers helped CBS Corp. draw the third-highest audience in television history.

Last night’s game drew 111.9 million viewers, the broadcast network said in a statement, citing Nielsen data. That fell short of the 2015 contest between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks on NBC, which drew 114.4 million viewers, and the 2014 Super Bowl between the Seahawks and the Broncos on Fox, which drew 112.2 million viewers.

The online audience for Sunday’s game set a record, with an average of 1.4 million viewers per minute, CBS said. That eclipsed the previous record set by NBC’s streaming audience last year, which drew 800,000 viewers per minute.

Denver won 24-10 last night in a sloppy game filled with turnovers and penalties that overshadowed a hyped match-up between quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.

The annual Super Bowl draws the biggest live audience on TV all year, so it commands top dollar from advertisers, who paid about $5 million this year for 30 seconds of commercial time.

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