Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 2/7/12

In case you needed any more evidence that the NFL is truly king in America, Super Bowl XLVI is the most-watched television program in U.S. history and the highest-rated Super Bowl in 26 years, according to fast national data released by The Nielsen Company.

The game was seen by a record 111.3 million viewers (6:31-9:58 p.m. ET), topping last year’s 111.0 for Super Bowl XLV on Fox and is the biggest audience to watch a television program in U.S. history. I guess the lockout didn’t hurt interest in the game after all.

MOST-WATCHED PROGRAMS IN U.S. TELEVISION HISTORY:

1. 111.3 Million – Super Bowl XLVI, Patriots vs. Giants, NBC
2. 111.0 Million – Super Bowl XLV, Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Fox
3. 106.5 Million – Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts, CBS
4. 106.0 Million – M.A.S.H. Finale, CBS
5. 98.7 Million – Super Bowl XLIII, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals, NBC

Very promising trends here for Roger Goodell. 4/5 most tv programs are Super Bowls, and it’s the most recent four! If these trends continue, the financial pie will only get bigger and sweeter for the NFL.

HIGHEST-RATED SUPER BOWL IN 26 YEARS: Sunday’s game earned a 47.0 rating and a 71 share, a gain of two percent from last year’s 46.0/69 for Super Bowl XLV and is the highest-rated Super Bowl since 1986 (Bears-Patriots, Super Bowl XX, 48.3/70). The 47.0 rating is the 6th highest in Super Bowl history.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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