Nearly 100 million viewers witnessed Sunday night's New Orleans Saints upset victory over the Indianapolis Colts, likely setting a TV record for a Super Bowl telecast, according to preliminary overnight ratings released today (Monday) by Nielsen Research. According to the ratings service, the game drew a massive 96.38 million viewers and a 34.9 rating and a 68 share, dipping only in the final half hour to 85.4 million, which included 15 minutes of post-game analysis. If the figures stand -- and most analysts predict the final number will come in at over 100 million viewers -- Sunday's game represented an 8.11 percent increase when compared with the 89.15 million viewers who initially were reported to have watched last year's Super Bowl. (The final result was put at 98.7 million.) The highest-rated U.S. television broadcast in history was the 1983 series finale of M*A*S*H* with 121.6 million viewers.
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.