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US ratings slip for Super Bowl 50

The CBS network’s coverage of Super Bowl 50 slipped in the ratings compared to the previous two editions of the NFL American football league’s championship game, but still registered as the third most watched event in US television history.

Audience measurement company Nielsen said that the average audience for Sunday’s game, a 24-10 victory for the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers, was 111.9 million, peaking at 115.5 million from 8.30-9pm ET for the halftime show.

The only broadcasts to draw a larger audience were last year’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on NBC (114.4 million) and the 2014 game between Seattle and Denver on Fox (112.2 million).

The Deadline.com website noted that CBS Sports and the NFL this year allowed Super Bowl 50 to be streamed for free online on the likes of Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast. The live stream had 3.96 million unique viewers among a variety of platforms and devices.

In December, sports broadcaster ESPN struck a deal with CBS to broadcast Spanish-language coverage of the Super Bowl exclusively on its ESPN Deportes channel for the first time.

ESPN Deportes said this resulted in a 51 per cent household audience increase over last year’s Spanish-language presentation. It was also ESPN Deportes’ biggest non-football audience in its 14-year history. The network averaged 268,000 Hispanic household impressions and 472,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen.

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