Final Nielsen ratings for Super Bowl XLVII were released earlier this week and as predicted, its 108.6 million viewers did not beat the record set by the 2012 Super Bowl which was seen by 111.3 million viewers. But it was enough to top the 105.9 million viewers who watched “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen” back in 1983. The series finale of M*A*S*H is now the fifth most-watched television broadcast of all time in the United States, behind the 2012, 2011, 2013 and 2010 Super Bowls:
|Super Bowl XLVI||2012||111,346,000|
|Super Bowl XLV||2011||111,010,000|
|Super Bowl XLVII||2013||108,693,000|
|Super Bowl XLIV||2010||106,476,000|
|“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”||1983||105,970,000|
As pointed out in the comments section of my earlier post about Super Bowl XLVII, this has to do solely with population growth. There are simply tens of millions of additional potential viewers these days. In terms of raw ratings however, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen” is still on top with a 60.2 Nielsen rating. It’s the only program to have a 60.0 or higher Nielsen rating. In fact, only two other programs have drawn a 50.0 Nielsen rating or better. The highest-rated Super Bowl of all time (XVI; 1982) drew a measly 49.1 by comparison.
I’ve updated my Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Ratings Analysis to reflect the numbers for Super Bowl XLVII.