CBS scores with Super Bowl ratings

According to CBS and Nielsen, more people watched Peyton Manning and the Colts win Super Bowl XLI than last year's big game.

By Paul R. La Monica, editor at large

NEW YORK ( -- Ratings for Super Bowl XLI showed that more people watched the Indianapolis Colts' victory over the Chicago Bears than last year's game featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.

According to a statement by CBS (Charts), which televised the game, the Super Bowl earned an average household rating of 42.6 and share of 64.

This means that 42.6 percent of all households in the U.S. were tuned into the game and that 64 percent of all households watching TV on Sunday night were watching the game.

These ratings are slightly higher than last year's ratings and are the highest since the 2000 telecast of Super Bowl XXXIV between St. Louis and Tennessee, which averaged a 43.3 household rating.

Last year's game, which aired on Walt Disney (Charts)-owned ABC, averaged a household rating of 41.6 according to Nielsen Media Research and a household share of 62.

CBS said the telecast averaged 93.15 million viewers, making it the second-most-watched Super Bowl of all time. Nearly 90.7 million viewers tuned into Super Bowl XL last year, making it, at the time, the most watched Super Bowl since 1996.

The network, citing numbers from Nielsen Media Research, added that 139.8 million viewers watched all or part of the game.

CBS also said that ratings for a special episode of "Criminal Minds," which aired after the game, averaged a 15 household rating and 26 share, the highest ratings ever for the show, which usually airs on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST.

The average ratings for "Criminal Minds" this season are a 9.7 household rating and 15 household share, according to Nielsen Media Research. CBS said 26.2 million viewers watched the episode.

But the post-Super Bowl episode of "Criminal Minds" did not appear to do nearly as well as last year's "Grey's Anatomy," which aired on ABC after Super Bowl XL. That episode averaged a 34 rating and a 21 share and was watched by 37.9 million viewers. Top of page