Super Bowl Breaks MASH’s Record

Viewership of Sunday’s Super Bowl broke the all-time record set by the 1983 series finale of M*A*S*H.

A classic television show just lost its two-decade grip on top of television’s all-time viewership heap. Blame it all on the Super Bowl. Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIV on CBS drew an average audience of 106.5 million viewers, breaking the record set by the television show “M-A-S-H” after a 26-year domination, making the game the most watched television broadcast in American history. The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts reportedly topped the “M-A-S-H” series finale “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” that drew 105.97 million viewers in 1983. Sunday’s Bowl also eclipsed Super Bowl XVI in 1982, as 49.1 percent of households (40,020,000) tuned in to watch San Francisco defeat Cincinnati according to the Neilson Company.

Analysts says several factors worked in favor of this year’s game. There was keen national interest in New Orlean’s first appearance. Also, the combination of a poor economy and an east coast snowstorm kept folks at home and out of bars, where their viewership would not be recorded by Nielsen.