A record 111.5 million tuned in to the Super Bowl XLVIII matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, FOX announced Monday.
Americans deterred neither by the bumbling Broncos or middling commercials turned out to make this not only the most watched Super Bowl, the broadcaster said, it was the most watched program television program in history.
The audience numbers were better than the closer matchup two years ago between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, which reached 111.3 million.
The nation's interest held high throughout the game, despite the Seahawks obtaining a 22-0 lead by halftime and maintaining a commanding lead into the fourth quarter. Nielsen ratings peaked at 47.9 out of 71 by 8 p.m. and only fell by 5% to 44 even into the game's final minutes.
That's good news for the game's advertisers, who themselves paid a reported record $4.02 million for a spot during the Super Bowl, or $134,000 a second.
In addition, four of the game's top ten "most engaging" ads aired during the fourth quarter, based on which commercials viewers pressed "play" to watch while fast-forwarding on their TiVo
The Super Bowl has grown increasingly popular in recent years, with three of the last four setting records for average viewership.