Nearly 112 million watch Super Bowl 50 on TV, below record

Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in the NFL's Super Bowl 50 football game in Santa Clara, California February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Super Bowl 50 was the third most-watched Super Bowl in U.S. history with 111.9 million Americans watching the game on television, ratings data showed on Monday.

The TV audience for Sunday’s showdown on CBS between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers was below the record 114.4 million viewers who watched the Super Bowl in 2015, Nielsen figures showed.

The Super Bowl is traditionally the most-watched television event annually in the United States, and TV audiences have risen for five of the last six Super Bowl contests. The 2014 matchup drew 112.2 million.

The 2016 figures do not include audience numbers for people who watched the game online, many of them for free over Internet devices like Apple TV and Roku. CBS said some 1.4 million viewers streamed the game on CBS and NFL properties.

Sunday’s Super Bowl also drew big numbers on social media, with some 200 million posts, comments or likes on Facebook during the game, and 3.9 million Tweets during the halftime show that starred Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars, Facebook and Twitter said.[L2N15N022]

Following the Super Bowl, a special live edition of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” drew 21.1 million viewers, about three times the show’s prior largest audience which occurred when Colbert took over as host in September 2015.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Cynthia Osterman