Courtesy of Billboard.com ‘s By Phil Gallo, Los Angeles
Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ performance on Sunday night attracted the largest audience in the history of the Super Bowl, attracting 115.3 million viewers, Fox announced Monday, citing Nielsen data.
That figure surpasses the prior record of 114 million set by Madonna two years ago and the 110.8 million who tuned in to see Beyonce last year.
Mars sang “Give it Away” with the Peppers, executed James Brown dance moves and Police riffs and closed with his hit ballad “Just the Way You Are” at halftime of a blowout won by the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8. The game had an average viewing audience of 111.5 million viewers, the largest in history.
The final number was significantly higher than than 98.88 million viewers reported in the overnight ratings from Nielsen that measure the top 56 markets. It initially appeared Super Bowl XLVIII would be the fifth most-watched in history.
The one musician who may well have received the most exposure for new music is Prince, who guest-starred on “New Girl” immediately after the game. The episode, watched by nearly 26 million viewers, included a performance of his new song “PretzelBodyLogic.”