The Washington Times - February 4, 2009, 03:48PM

Ok, we finally got some final, official numbers from the NFL and Nielsen for Super Bowl 43. (I held off on reporting viewership numbers until now because the early numbers are often misleading or innacurate.)

Total viewers during the entire broadcast: 151.6 million


(So I think this means everyone, including the people who only watched for like 2 minutes accidentally when they were really just looking for John and Kate Plus 8.)

Average viewers, meaning average number watching at any given moment: 98.7 million.

Only the 1983 finale of M*A*S*H has a higher number of average viewers. (Which still sorta stuns me to this day even though I realize there was no cable or anything to compete with it. But M*A*S*H? Please, someone, anyone, e-mail me to tell me why that finale warranted the attention of 100 million people.)

Number of people watching during Santonio Holmes’ game-winning catch: 111.6 milion

Number of people watching during James Harrison’s interception return for a touchdown at the end of the first half: 105  million.

Number of people watching during Larry Fitzgerald’s 4th-quarter touchdown: 106.2 million.

Top 5 Most-Watched Super Bowls:

Super Bowl XLIII (Cardinals-Steelers), 2/1/09                              151.6 million
Super Bowl XLII (Giants-Patriots), 2/3/08                                    148.3 million
Super Bowl XXXVIII (Patriots-Panthers), 2/1/04                            144.4 million
Super Bowl XL (Steelers-Seahawks), 2/5/06                               141.4 million
Super Bowl XLI (Colts-Chicago), 2/4/07                                      139.8 million

- Tim Lemke