Beyoncé’s half-time performance at this year Super Bowl failed to pull in more viewers than Madonna’s record breaking 2012 appearance.
In fact, fewer people watched Sunday night’s thrilling Super Bowl than the previous two championship games, according to figures released on Tuesday.
Although Beyoncé, who prepared for five months for the hotly anticipated gig, reunited Destiny’s Child and sung live, viewing figures showed the 31-year-old was watched by 104 million viewers, compared to Madonna’s audience of 112.5 million.
Nielsen, a company that tracks the ratings, reported the actual game drew 108.4 million viewers, which is a drop from last season’s tally of 111.3 million viewers.
Madonna’s performance in 2012, which sparked controversy after M.I.A swore at cameras, was criticized on Twitter but its lavish nature – the slot featured CeeLo Green, Nicki Minaj and LMFAO – meant the show was certainly noticed.
Nearly half of all households that own a television were tuned into Sunday’s game, the company added.
For the Nielsen measurement, one ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes.
The share means that 71% of TVs that were on at the time were tuned to the Super Bowl.
At CBS’ request the ratings figure from Sunday night did not include a 30-minute period when there was a partial power outage in the Superdome.
But viewership actually increased after the power outage, as the game measured a 52.9 rating during its final moments, CBS noted.
Not surprisingly, Baltimore ranked first among cities watching the championship game.
The game drew a 59.6 rating and share of 83 there.
In second place was New Orleans, where the game was played. The contest drew a 57.1 rating and a 77 share.
San Francisco did not rank in the top 10 cities for viewership.
The network also drew criticism by the Parents Television Council for not moving quickly enough to edit out a profanity said by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco shortly after the game.
Joe Flacco was caught by microphones describing his team’s victory as “f****** awesome”.
The game also illustrated the explosive growth of second screen activity.
The company Trendrr TV, which tracks activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, estimated there were 47.7 million social media posts during the game.
That compares to 17 million during the 2012 Super Bowl and just 3 million the year before that.
Last year’s Super Bowl, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, drew a Nielsen rating of 47.8 and had a share of 71.
The only non-Super Bowl to have reached the 100-million viewer benchmark was the series finale of MASH in 1983.