Super Bowl 2012: Overnight Ratings Show Big Numbers for NBC

James WilliamsAnalyst IIIFebruary 6, 2012

Early returns show big numbers for NBC
Early returns show big numbers for NBCJeff Gross/Getty Images

NBC released their overnight ratings for last night’s Giants' 21-17 win over the Patriots. According to their numbers, it was a good night for the network in both Boston and New York.

According to data released this morning by the network, the rating in Boston was the best ever for an NFL game in that market (56.7/81), topping the previous high of 56.1/78 for Super Bowl XXXVI (56.1/78 on FOX).

Further data from NBC showed that in New York the game registered a 49.7/74, the second-highest overnight for an NFL game in that market, trailing only the 53.4/72 for Super Bowl XXI, the Giants' first ever Super Bowl. By comparison, New York registered a 44.9/67 for Super Bowl XLII, the last time they were in the big game.

Taking a national look inside the numbers from the network, the game earned a 47.8/71 overnight rating/share last night on NBC, the third-highest overnight rating in Super Bowl history and less than one percent off the highest (47.9 for both Super Bowl XLV and Super Bowl XXI), according to overnight data provided by The Nielsen Company.   

I still feel that last night’s game has a very good chance to break last year’s 111 million viewers mark and to replace it as the most-watched television program in American broadcast history.   

According to the ratings information provided, last night’s game was in third place overall in Super Bowl history.



T1. 47.9/71 – Super Bowl XLV, Packers 31-Steelers 25, Fox

T1. 47.9/68 – Super Bowl XXI, Giants 39-Broncos 20, CBS

3. 47.8/71 – Super Bowl XLVI, Giants 21-Patriots 17, NBC

4. 47.4/NA – Super Bowl XIV, Steelers 31-Rams 19, CBS

5. 46.9/70 – Super Bowl XX, Bears 46-Patriots 10, NBC

As has been the trend in recent games, ratings tend to grow throughout the game and peaked at a 51.8/73 from 9:30-10 p.m. ET in the fourth quarter when Eli Manning led the Giants on a game-winning drive.


HALF HOURS (Times ET): According to the numbers provided by NBC, here are the hourly splits.

6:30-7, 43.3/69

7-7:30, 45.9/71

7:30-8, 47.7/72

8-8:30, 48.1/72

8:30-9, 48.3/71

9-9:30, 49.3/70

9:30-10, 51.8/73


For those interested in how the halftime ratings fared, the numbers provided by NBC showed that the performance by Madonna (8-8:30) earned a 48.1/72 overnight, one percent ahead of last year’s 8-8:30 time period featuring the Black Eyed Peas (47.4/70) and 20 percent higher than NBC’s last Super Bowl with Bruce Springsteen (40.2/62).

Finally, here are the top 10 Nielsen Metered Markets, as reported by NBC, for last night’s Super Bowl telecast.

1. Boston, 56.7/81

2. Indianapolis, 56.4/79

3. Norfolk, 54.2/73

4. Columbus, 54.1/72

5. New Orleans, 54.0/72

T6. Nashville, 53.5/74

T6. Jacksonville, 53.5/70

8. Buffalo, 52.9/72

9. Kansas City, 52.1/73

10. Milwaukee, 52.0/73

*New York ranked 18th with a 49.7/74

All information was obtained first-hand via press release.