Although Super Bowl LI failed to beat the viewership record set by Super Bowl XLIX in 2014, last week’s big game did top “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” by almost nine million viewers. That means the series finale is now the ninth most-watched television broadcast in United States history. Ever since Super Bowl XLIV topped “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” back in 2010, it’s become routine every year to see the finale pushed down another slot on the most-watched list.
|1.||Super Bowl XLIX||2015||114,442,000|
|2.||Super Bowl XLVIII||2014||112,191,000|
|3.||Super Bowl 50||2016||111,864,000|
|4.||Super Bowl XLVI||2012||111,346,000|
|5.||Super Bowl LI||2017||111,317,000|
|6.||Super Bowl XLV||2011||111,010,000|
|7.||Super Bowl XLVII||2013||108,693,000|
|8.||Super Bowl XLIV||2010||106,476,000|
|9.||“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”||1983||105,970,000|
|10.||Super Bowl XLIII||2009||98,732,000|
It’s also become routine to point out that “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” remains by far the highest-rated television broadcast of all time with a 60.2 Nielsen rating. By comparison, Super Bowl LI averaged a 45.3 rating. Even the highest-rated Super Bowl ever (Super Bowl XVI, 1982) could only muster a 49.1 rating.
It took 27 years for “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” to be dethroned in terms of viewers. M*A*S*H will likely hold on to its highest-rated record forever.
I’ve revised my Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Ratings Analysis with information about Super Bowl LI.