Super Bowl ‘most watched’ TV show ever with 123 million viewers

A record 123.4 million people tuned in for Sunday’s Super Bowl which saw the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in an overtime nailbiter, the game’s broadcaster has said.

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“CBS Sports’ coverage… delivered the most-watched telecast in history with a total audience delivery of 123.4 million average viewers across all platforms,” the network’s parent company Paramount said in a statement late on Monday.

Viewership was “up 7 percent vs. last year’s Super Bowl which was the previous record (115.1 million)… 202.4 million watched all or part of Super Bowl LVIII across networks.”

Paramount said 120 million people watched the NFL championship game on CBS alone, a record for a single US network.

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Kansas City Chief’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes found Mecole Hardman in the end zone deep into overtime to seal a dramatic win in what was the longest Super Bowl in history.

The victory makes Kansas City the first team to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies since the New England Patriots in 2003-2004, cementing the franchise’s right to be regarded as the NFL’s newest dynasty.

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Usher led an all-star cast that included Ludacris, Alicia Keys and Jermaine Dupri for the half-time show.

The slow jam king held his own as he captured the magic of his late-1990s, early-aughts fame with a 13-minute, career-spanning medley including hits like “Love In This Club” and “OMG”.

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Taylor Swift was the night’s most-watched fan as she cheered on her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, from a luxury box with a coterie of famous friends including the rapper Ice Spice.

Swift’s relationship with charismatic star Kelce has been a boon to television ratings, her every move offering headline fodder.

Beyonce was also in attendance with her hip-hop mogul husband Jay-Z – and announced a new album during a commercial she did with telecoms giant Verizon, in which she repeatedly tries to “break the internet.”

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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