Super Bowl TV Ratings 2012: Where Will This Super Bowl Rank Among Most Watched?

Jeff Chase@@Real_Jeff_ChaseSenior Analyst IIFebruary 6, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last year's Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers set a new record for the highest-viewed telecast of the big game. Could this year's game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots topple last year's mark?

One would have to think so. Considering all the hype going into this game revolving around Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's injury and the fact that this game was a rematch of 2007's epic game that ended the Patriots' perfect season, there is no doubt that this game had higher viewership than last year.

Here is a breakdown of the five best Super Bowl games in terms of viewership ratings.

5. Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (94.08 Million Viewers/46.0 Rating)

28 Jan 1996:  Running back Bam Morris #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers moves the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during Super Bowl XXX played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  The Cowboys won, 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell  /Allsport
Mike Powell/Getty Images

This was a big game between America's team, the Cowboys, and the gridiron legends in the Steelers. 

Super Bowl XXX was the championship game of the 1995 season. The game took place in Tempe, AZ, and it was one of the highest-viewed games of all time.

Considering the size of the Cowboys' and Steelers' fanbases, this should come as no surprise. The game ended with a Cowboys win, as they downed the Steelers, 27-17, with cornerback Larry Brown being named game MVP.

4. Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots (97.5 Million Viewers/43.3 Rating)

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  David Tyree #85 of the New York Giants catches a 32-yard pass from Eli Manning #10 against Rodney Harrison #37 and James Sanders #36 of the New England Patriots attempts to knock it out in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This was the big game between the Giants and Patriots, as quarterback Tom Brady was going for his fourth Super Bowl in four tries, as well as the team trying to complete the first 19-0 season in NFL history.

The game will go down in history for Giants wide receiver David Tyree catching the ball against his helmet, which led to the team's game-winning drive to ruin the Patriots' hopes.

Eli Manning was named the MVP of the game, and it was his official move onto the NFL scene.

3. Super Bowl XLIII: Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (98.7 Million Viewers/42.0 Rating)

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after he threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes #10 in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Cardinals were making their dream run into the Super Bowl, but unfortunately, they were met by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

The game was a memorable one, as the final score was 27-23, with Roethlisberger finding wide receiver Santonio Holmes for a corner touchdown grab with just 35 seconds left in the game. The Steelers stole the victory away from the Cardinals and sealed their fate as Super Bowl champs.

2. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts (106.5 Million Viewers/45.0 Rating)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints hands quarterback Drew Brees #9 the Vince Lombardi trophy after defeating the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gar
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The big game between quarterbacks Drew Brees and Peyton Manning sent this Super Bowl's ratings through the roof, as it gained nearly nine million more viewers and three points in the ratings.

The Colts were going for their second title after winning it all in 2006. They were coming in against a Saints team that was playing behind a struggling city, following the events of Hurricane Katrina.

The Saints downed the Colts in a 31-17 victory, resurrecting the New Orleans area from what had been one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

1. Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (111 Million Viewers/46.0 Rating)

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers calls signals at the line of scrimmage under center Scott Wells #63 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When nobody thought the ratings could get any higher, the game between the Packers and Steelers proved everybody wrong.

Super Bowl XLV took the cake for not only being the most viewed game of all time, but the most watched program in the history of American television.

There were no real story lines going into this game, but people seemed excited to watch the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers take on Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

The Packers took the game, 31-25, claiming their spot as the top team in the NFL.

Will this year's game have better results? We will find out as soon as the rankings are released, but it would be hard to imagine it not being able to.

Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.

Follow Real_Jeff_Chase on Twitter

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