American football championship attracts third largest TV audience in U.S. history

The Associated Press

The American football championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears was watched by 93.2 million people on Sunday, the third-largest television audience in

U.S. history.

It was the second-most watched Super Bowl, trailing the 1996 championship game, which had 94.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday. The only other program that drew a bigger TV audience was the 1983 series finale of the Korean War-based situation comedy M-A-S-H, which was watched by nearly 106 million people 77 percent of the people who watched TV that night.


won the game 29-17, which was broadcast on the CBS television network.

Last year’s Super Bowl between

Pittsburgh and

Seattle drew 90.7 million viewers.

According to another measuring service, the most-watched moment of the broadcast wasn’t Colts quarterback Peyton Manning’s lone touchdown pass, the clinching interception and touchdown run by Kelvin Hayden or even Prince’s electrifying halftime show. It was a commercial for Bud Light beer featuring Carlos Mencia and a language class, according to Tivo.