NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLIII averaged 95.4 million total viewers, making it the second-highest-rated Super Bowl of all time, according to updated Nielsen ratings.
The showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals delivered a 42.1 rating and a 65 share, scoring highest in the Pittsburgh (duh), Norfolk, Va. and Jacksonville, Fla. markets, NBC said.
Last year's match-up between the Giants and Patriots was the most-watched Super Bowl ever, with an audience of 97.5 million. On the list of most-watched TV broadcasts in history, these past two Super Bowls place second and third behind the series finale of M*A*S*H (106 million viewers).
NBC's special broadcast of The Office tackled an audience of 22 million viewers. That's nearly double the comedy's previous record and represents the biggest viewership of any NBC entertainment telecast in more than four-and-a-half years (since the May 13, 2004 episode of ER).
Opposite the Super Bowl, ABC, CBS and Fox threw out almost entirely repeats. Fighting the good fight for the CW, meanwhile, was a broadcast of that ageless chestnut Throw Momma from the Train, which averaged 696,000 viewers.