The 2014 NFL season concluded with another television milestone as Super Bowl XLIX on NBC was watched by an average of 114.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched telecast in television history.

Most-Watched TV Programs, Average Viewers

Game – Average Viewers
Super Bowl XLIX (Patriots-Seahawks), 2/1/15 – 114.4 million
Super Bowl XLVIII (Seahawks-Broncos), 2/2/14 – 112.2 million
Super Bowl XLVI (Giants-Patriots), 2/5/12 – 111.3 million
Super Bowl XLV (Packers-Steelers), 2/6/11 – 111 million
Super Bowl XLVII (49ers-Ravens), 2/3/13 – 108.7 million
Sources: NFL and The Nielsen Company

Viewership peaked at 120.8 million viewers from 9:45 to 10 p.m. Eastern time during the fourth quarter.

The Patriots-Seahawks championship game was viewed by 161.3 million total viewers, marking the seventh consecutive Super Bowl to reach a total audience of more than 150 million viewers. Super Bowls account for the 24 most-viewed programs in history in terms of total audience.

Overall, traffic to NFL digital properties on Sunday set all-time records for a Super Bowl. Highlights include:

NFL digital properties saw more than 21 million visits on Sunday.

Nearly four million people watched live streaming video of Super Bowl XLIX on digital platforms between NBC Sports Live Extra (2.5 mm viewers) and NFL Mobile from Verizon (1.2 mm viewers).

The 1.2 million viewers on NFL Mobile from Verizon are up 224% from Super Bowl XLVIII.

Overall, NFL Mobile from Verizon visitors jumped to 3.3 million on Super Bowl Sunday and have tripled since 2012.

Facebook & Twitter

Once again, the National Football League hit a home run with social media and as Facebook has noted, Sunday’s game was the most-talked-about Super Bowl on Facebook ever.

More than 65 million people – up from 50 million in 2014 – joined in the conversation around Super Bowl XLIX with 265 million posts, comments and likes.

Twitter reported that more than 28.4 million global Tweets containing terms related to the game and halftime show were sent during the live telecast (from kickoff through 30 minutes after the clock expired). #SB49 was the most Tweeted @SuperBowl ever, surpassing last year’s game.

In other Super Bowl news…

With their victory in Super Bowl XLIX, the Patriots now have won their fourth Super Bowl championship to become the sixth NFL franchise to reach or exceed that number.

They are the first team in Super Bowl history to trail by 10-plus points during the second half and win the game. Teams trailing by 10 or more points entering the fourth quarter had been 0-29 in Super Bowl play.

The Patriots also faced a double-figure deficit (14 points at 21-35) before defeating the Ravens, 38-35, in the Divisional Playoffs. They are the first team to win a Super Bowl with a postseason where they overcame a pair of double-digit, second-half deficits.

The Patriots are the first team to trail by 10-plus points after three quarters in a postgame and win since the Colts beat the Chiefs on January 14, 2014. That was the only time it had happened since the start of the 2003 postseason. Teams were 1-62 when trailing by 10 or more entering the fourth quarter in that span before tonight.

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BILL BELICHICK

All four Patriots’ Super Bowl victories have comeunder coach Bill Belichick, who has now joined Chuck Noll of the Steelers as the only coaches to win four Super Bowls. Belichick also expands his career postseason record to 22 victories (two more than Tom Landry).

This was the sixth Super Bowl game for Belichick – and all six were decided by four or three points. Of the four wins, the four-point margin tonight was the largest. New England has scored 135 points in the Super Bowl under Belichick and allowed 129.

Belichick has joined Don Shula with a record six Super Bowl appearances as a head coach (five with the Dolphins, one with the Colts). Belichick also tied the mark of Dan Reaves for nine overall Super Bowl appearances as player or coach.

TOM BRADY

Tom Brady set a Super Bowl record with 37 completions, eclipsing the mark of 34 set last year by Peyton Manning (also against the Seahawks). His 50 pass attempts are tied for third most.

Tom Brady joins Joe Montana as the only three-time Super Bowl MVPs. Like Montana, he also had one of his receivers win MVP honors while winning a fourth Super Bowl. Brady joins Montana and Terry Bradshaw with a record four Super Bowl wins as a starting quarterback. Brady is the first player to play in six Super Bowls. It is the fifth time in the last six Super Bowls that the winning quarterback has been the MVP and the 27th time overall.

A total of 13 years have passed between Brady’s first Super Bowl victory (Super Bowl XXXVI) and tonight. That matches Ted Hendricks for the longest time elapsed between a first title and the most recent.

Brady became the sixth quarterback to throw four or more TD passes in a Super Bowl. He is the first to throw all of them to different receivers.

Brady now has 13 TD passes in Super Bowl play and with his third TD pass to Danny Amendola acquired the Super Bowl career record passing the 11 of Joe Montana. Brady entered the game as the career leader in passing yards and has extended his total to 1,605 with 328 yards passing tonight. His 164 career completions and 247 career pass attempts are also Super Bowl records.

MORE BILL BELICHICK

With New England’s victory Sunday, Bill Belichick (aged 62 years, 290 days) becomes the third-oldest coach to win a Super Bowl, supplanting Pete Carroll of the Seahawks who was 62-140 at the time of last year’s victory. Tom Coughlin (65-158) with the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI and Dick Vermeil (63-92) with the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV are the two oldest.

STREAKS

With Sunday’s thrilling game, six of the last seven Super Bowls have been decided by six points or less. The exception is Seattle’s 43-8 win over Denver last year.

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With New England’s victory Sunday, the team’s wearing white jerseys have won 10 of the last Super Bowl games. It is a run that began with the Patriots win over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX (the Packers in Super Bowl XLV are the exception).

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Wilson’s streak of defeating quarterbacks who have previously won Super Bowls ended at 10.

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The Patriots are only the fourth team to lose the turnover battle and win the Super Bowl. Teams with more turnovers are now 4-36 (equal in nine games).

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Teams scoring first are now 33-16 in the Super Bowl as the Patriots had the game’s first touchdown.

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New England’s victory cuts the NFC’s lead in Super Bowl play to 26-23. The AFC has won 11 of the last 18 Super Bowls with the Patriots owning four of those wins.

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This was the third Super Bowl to be tied at halftime (14-14). The last one also included the Patriots – a 7-7 deadlock with the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. The first was a 3-3 tie between San Francisco and Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII. None of the three games were ultimately decided by more than four points.

MORE TOM BRADY

In leading two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, Tom Brady was 13-for-15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

On the final 10-play drive, he was 8-for-8 for 65 yards (the 64-yard drive included a 10-yard penalty on the Patriots). It was the 46th game-winning drive of his career including nine in the postseason (four of which came in Super Bowl games).

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This was the 11th time Brady has passed for 300 yards in a postseason game. It was the second time in his six Super Bowl starts. He had 354 pass yards in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

His four touchdown passes are his second-highest total in a postseason game.

Brady now has a 21-8 record as a postseason starting quarterback. The 21 wins are an NFL record, five more than runner-up Joe Montana. His 29 postseason starts are also a record for an NFL QB.

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Brady’s two previous Super Bowl MVP awards came in Super Bowl XXXVI when the Patriots beat the Rams, 20-17 and in Super Bowl XXXVI when the Patriots beat the Panthers, 32-29. The other two involved game-winning field goals within the final four seconds. Today’s included a game-winning touchdown pass with 2:02 remaining.

The MVP of New England’s other victory under Brady was wide receiver Deion Branch, who caught 11 passes for 133 yards in the 24-21 win over Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX.

MORE PATRIOTS

The Patriots failed to score in the first quarter for the sixth consecutive Super Bowl of the Belichick/Brady Era.

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But New England has never trailed at halftime in any of those six Super Bowls – leading at the intermission in four and being tied after two.

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The Patriots are the youngest team ever to win a Super Bowl, with an average age of 25.2 years. The 2013 Seahawks (26.5 last year) were the youngest.

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At age 37, Tom Brady is the second-oldest MVP in Super Bowl history (John Elway was 38 when he ended his career as MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII).

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The Patriots finished the extended season 13-0 when scoring 23 or more points.

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Shane Vereen’s 11 receptions tied the New England postseason record (Deion Branch in Super Bowl XXXIX and Wes Welker in Super Bowl XLII).

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The Patriots previous Super Bowl in University of Phoenix Stadium was a 17-14 loss under a closed roof in Super Bowl XLII. In that game, David Tyree made a sensational 32-yard catch to set up 13-yard TD pass by Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress with :35 remaining. Tonight’s game was played under an open roof, making this the first stadium to host both an indoor and outdoor Super Bowl.

CHRIS MATTHEWS

In the contest against New England, Chris Matthews became the only player in NFL history to record his first 100-yard receiving game in a Super Bowl. He also is the only player whose first career catch was a Super Bowl touchdown

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