Eli Manning

Did the Super Bowl set a viewership record for a third year in a row? Just barely.

VIDEO: Gisele Bundchen defends husband Tom Brady, rips receivers

Super Bowl XLVI — in which the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots — drew 111.3 million viewers, narrowly edging out the 111 million viewers who tuned into the big game a year ago. The game also posted a 47.8 overnight rating and a 71 share — the third-highest ever, according to Nielsen overnight data released early Monday. In the adults-18-to-49 demographic, it scored a 40.5 rating, its best in 16 years. It was also up 14 percent versus the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl in 2008.

Super Bowl XLV is most-watched TV program in U.S. history

This was the seventh straight year that the Super Bowl audience grew. Last year, Super Bowl XLV was seen by 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched prime-time telecast in U.S. history. And the year before that, the Super Bowl set the record for the largest U.S. TV viewing audience at 106.5 million, which topped the long-standing 106 million viewers who watched the 1983 M*A*S*H finale.

NBC apologizes for M.I.A.'s middle finger at Super Bowl halftime show

The postgame festivities and interviews struck some viewers as abbreviated, and maybe they were, as NBC wanted to give a big springboard to The Voice's return.

Read our recap of The Voice's Season 2 premiere

NBC's singing-talent show scored a 16.3 rating and drew 37.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated entertainment program in 18-49 in six years. The show also did 47 percent better than the post-Super Bowl airing of Glee last year.