The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks with a dramatic interception in the final 20 seconds of Super Bowl XLIX and the close 28-24 game was enough to set a television record in the Nielsen ratings. According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily, the Super Bowl drew a 49.7 overnight rating which eclipsed the record for the game which had stood for more than three decades.
While the total numbers of viewers has increased consistently with time, the overnight rating which measures percentages of households tuned in for the big game, has fluctuated through the years. The previous record of 49.1 was set in 1982 when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI.
Last year's matchup between the Seahawks and Denver Broncos on Fox drew a 46.4 overnight rating, the seventh-highest of all time, and set a record for total viewers.
A prop bet available on Bovada listed the over/under for the Nielsen rating at 47.5, which seemed like a slightly high projection considering it would have been the highest mark since 1986; however, the over proved to be the winner on Sunday.