Nielsen estimated 108.41 million viewers tuned in for the Super Bowl, making it the third-most-watched program in television history behind Super Bowl XLVI and Super Bowl XLV. Nielsen, heeding CBS’s request, is not counting the 34-minute power outage delay in its ratings.
The halftime show began shortly before 8:10 p.m. ET and between 8 and 8:30, the show did a 48.2 rating, according to Nielsen’s metered market ratings. Based on Nielsen’s math of a little more than two viewers per television set, the viewership is in the 104 million ballpark. It is highly likely that when final numbers are released, Beyonce’s total will be lower than the 104 million estimate.
The block with Beyonce’s 14-minute performance outperformed the previous half-hour by three-tenths of a rating point. The Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers game peaked, audience-wise, between 10:30 and 10:47 p.m. when an average of 113.982 million viewers were watching.
The audience for Beyonce trailed Madonna’s performance at last year’s Super Bowl. Madge attracted 112.5 million viewers, surpassing the 95.7 million who watched Bruce Springsteen in 2009.
Beyonce’s performance was a showcase to promote her upcoming tour that will start with a June 28 concert at L.A.’s Staples center. Her show will be the kickoff of a three-day BET Experience at L.A. Live that will include music and comedy concerts, film screenings, “106 & Park” tapings, BET Fan Fest, seminars, a Grammy Museum exhibit and other events.