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Super Bowl grabs highest-ever TV ratings

Super Bowl grabs highest-ever TV ratings
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy looks at the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. At left is Terry Bradshaw. The Packers won 31-25. UPI/Jon Soohoo | License Photo

NEW YORK, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Super Bowl XLV was the most-watched television program in history, preliminary ratings from the Nielsen Co. indicated Monday.

An estimated 111 million viewers tuned in to Fox Sports for Sunday's 31-25 victory by the Green Bay Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the ratings company said.

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That surpasses the record 106.4 million viewers for last year's Super Bowl broadcast on CBS.

Nielsen officials said the game was viewed in 53.3 million households, with a preliminary 46.0 U.S. household rating.

"Super Bowl XLV caps what is arguably the most successful season that any sports league has ever had," said Patricia McDonough, a Nielsen senior vice president. "The number of people watching NFL games has never been higher, with 24 percent more people watching the average NFL game this year than just five years ago."

She said the cliffhanger nature of the game ensured that viewers tuned in until the very end of the contest.

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