NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Sunday’s Broncos-Panthers game couldn’t quite top the excitement — or the viewership — of last year’s Patriots-Seahawks game.
Still, Super Bowl 50 ranks as the second highest rated Super Bowl in football history, according to overnight Nielsen ratings data.
The game averaged a 49.0 rating, meaning that 49% of American homes with TV sets had the game turned on.
Last year’s record rating was a smidge higher — 49.7.
Actual viewership totals will be released later in the day on Monday. Nielsen doesn’t include any out-of-home viewing in these ratings, so viewing parties at bars and restaurants are not counted in the total.
Internet streaming of Super Bowl is not counted, either. CBS made the game widely available on tablets, computers and streaming boxes like Apple TV. While there were some sporadic glitches, most people were able to stream the game without any problems.
A CBS spokeswoman said Sunday night that the network set a new Super Bowl streaming record, which is unsurprising, given that streaming becomes more popular with each passing year. Streaming data will likely be released on Monday afternoon.
Last year’s Super Bowl streaming record, set by NBC, was for 1.3 million simultaneous viewers.
Meanwhile, 114.4 million people watched simultaneously via TV last year, signaling that the vast majority of Super Bowl viewership happened via cable, satellite and antennas.
NBC called last year’s game “the most-watched show in U.S. television history.”
Nielsen ratings are a minute-by-minute average of a program’s viewership, so if people tune out because they’re bored by the game, that affects the average.
The Broncos led for the entire second half of Sunday’s game, so the lack of drama could hurt CBS’s overall total. Some armchair commentators said the best part of the event was actually Beyonce’s performance at the halftime show.
However, according to the overnight Nielsen data, the ratings held steady in the 9 p.m. ET hour, and peaked at the end of the game, 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., with a 51 rating.