(Reuters) - A record 111.5 million people watched the Fox network telecast of the Super Bowl on Sunday, keeping the NFL championship game ensconced as TV’s perennial U.S. ratings champ despite the most lopsided game in 21 years.
The Seattle Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos 43-8, giving Seattle its first National Football League championship.
The TV viewership was the largest for a single TV program in the United States, Fox said in a statement. It surpassed the 111.3 million who watched the game on Comcast Corp’s NBC network in 2012 between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the network said.
Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox, said viewership was 5 percent lower in the game’s closing minutes than it had been throughout the game, when the Seahawks’ victory was in hand.
The halftime show, which featured singer Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was viewed by an even larger 115.3 million viewers, passing the record 114 million who watched Madonna perform two years ago.
The network charged an average of $4 million for a 30-second commercial, the most in the game’s history.
Reporting by Ronald Grover; Editing by Mary Milliken and David Gregorio