NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium as part of Monday morning's post-Super Bowl XLV press conferences and proclaimed that the preliminary ratings are indicating that the 2011 Super Bowl will be the highest rated television show in history.
The early overnight numbers are beginning to roll in, and they're reflecting Goodell's prediction: 47.9/71, which ties the highest Super Bowl overnight ever (Super Bowl XXI in 1987). It also marks a three percent increase of last year's Super Bowl (46.4/68).
In New York, the game averaged nearly 43 percent of homes, the highest ratings for a Super Bowl not involving a New York team in 28 years. Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee tied for top local ratings spot, at 59.7.
For the record, the highest rated TV show ever is the series finale of M*A*S*H, which drew a 77 percent share while appearing in more than 50 million households (60.2 percent).