Super Bowl breaks all US television records

Last updated 10:59 04/02/2014
Super Bowl halftime
PARTY TIME: Bruno Mars performs during the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show in New Jersey.

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The Seattle Seahawks were not the only winner at this year's Super Bowl. The US television network Fox broke television records with its broadcast of the game.

According to the US television ratings agency Nielsen, the game, in which the Seahawks steamrolled rivals the Denver Broncos, was watched by 111.5 million viewers in the US.

On those numbers, it is the most watched event in US television history, and the most watched Super Bowl of all time.

The result stunned the US television industry, as preliminary numbers from the overnight ratings suggested a strong but not record-setting result.

The telecast of the Super Bowl is a major cultural event in the United States, not just for the game itself, but also for the half-time entertainment and for the big-ticket television commercials which accompany the broadcast.

It is also the biggest sporting event in the US: inclusive of sponsorships, tickets and licensed merchandise the brand is worth almost half a billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine.

The most successful of this year's Super Bowl ads was unequivocally Budweiser's. Titled "Puppy Love" it made the most noise on social media.

Puppy Love was the highest ranked ad on the Super Bowl Digital Index, compiled by brand analysis company ListenFirst, with a score of 99.7. The index analyses activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

The second placed ad was Coca Cola's "America The Beautiful", with a score of 78.4.

Puppy Love was also the most replayed, according to DVR company TiVo.

Among the advertisers whose commercials featured in the broadcast were Microsoft, Audi, Cheerios, Radio Shack, Chevy, Maserati and Subway. And each 30 second commercial spot came with a hefty price tag - up to US$4 million, depending on where it fell in the telecast.

But not all companies walk away from the Super Bowl with a social media win.

Football fans in Southern California, who were left in the dark when their TV screens went dark during the game, unleashed their fury on Time Warner Cable.

TWC, one of America's biggest cable companies, suffered a "technical issue" which saw its standard definition transmission of the game black out for an hour just before half time.

"Our engineers resolved the issue as quickly as possible, and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience," the company said today, in a scripted mea culpa.

They are yet to explain cause of the "technical issue".

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