Sports News

Record 106.5 million Americans watch Super Bowl

Fireworks fly during pre-game ceremonies prior to the NFL's Super Bowl XLIV football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, in Miami, Florida, February 7, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A record 106.5 million Americans watched the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday’s Super Bowl game, setting a new high for any U.S. television broadcast, early ratings showed on Monday.

The National Football League championship, broadcast on CBS, beat the record held by the 1983 finale of the “M*A*S*H” comedy series, which had 106 million viewers, CBS and Nielsen Media said.

The previous record for a Super Bowl was the 98.7 million Americans who tuned in to see the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in 2009.

TV audiences for the Super Bowl have grown for each of the past four years, demonstrating why advertisers paid up to $3 million for a 30-second commercial during Sunday’s more than three-hour broadcast.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by John O’Callaghan