Super Bowl xlix (49)

*In spite of all the drama (deflate-gate, domestic violence,, concussions, whatever), the NFL is still a juggernaut.

Bottom line: Super Bowl XLIX featuring the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots was the most-viewed television program in history. The event delivered its highest ratings ever, according to initial overnight numbers from NBC.

We’re talking a 49.7 rating. In other words, 49.7 percent of the homes that had televisions on had them tuned to the Super Bowl. Put another way, an average of 114.4 million people watched the game.

Like we said, the 114 million number is the average. At one point between 9:45 and 10pm ET, in the fourth quarter, viewership peaked at 120.8 million viewers.

Numbers like that are why networks pay so much for live sports, and why advertisers had no problem paying $4.5 million for 30 seconds’ worth of ad time in and around the game.