According to ratings gurus, Nielsen, NBC's broadcast of the Super Bowl between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers was the second largest television broadcast of all time. The revised numbers from Nielsen showed 98.7 million viewers versus 106 million viewers for the last episode of M.A.S.H. in 1983.
Last year's Super Bowl between the then-unbeaten New England Patriots and the New York Giants received a very respectable 97.5 million viewers. This year's Super Bowl was downplayed by everyone other than NBC's ad salespeople looking for $3,000,000 per 30 second spot as a disappointment in terms of matchup. The television Gods wanted the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl but they lost in the last few minutes of the NFC Championship game to Arizona who made their first appearance in the big game.
With many hit commercials and two very exciting games in a row - expect ads to be even more expensive next year as the audience could possibly top the standard set by M.A.S.H for the Super Bowl 44.
Sources: LATimes.com, Nielsen.com