Super Bowl XLV was seen by 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched prime-time telecast in U.S. history.
And while Glee got its biggest audience ever, it was down — way down — from the show that got the high-profile timeslot after last year's game.
The Super Bowl also had a 71 share, meaning 71 percent of the televisions being watched were tuned to the Green Bay Packers 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on the Fox network. It also helped that the game wasn't decided until 49 seconds were left.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday he was "excited about the fan reaction."
Last year's Super Bowl (which the New Orleans Saints won over the Indianapolis Colts) 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.
This year's Super Bowl ratings culminate a boffo year for the National Football League. Its 2010 regular-season games were watched by a record 207.7 million unique viewers, according to Nielsen.
Nielsen announced last month that NBC's Sunday Night Football was the No. 1 show in prime time for the first half of this TV season. It averaged 21.8 million viewers — up 12 percent from last year (19.4 million).
Still, the Fox show had 26.8 million viewers, scoring an 11.1 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic — making it the top-rated scripted telecast in three years.
The other three major broadcast networks, knowing they were up against the annual ratings juggernaut, generally went with reruns or news programming. The best number posted was barely more than 5.1 million viewers for a Hawaii Five-0 rerun.