Super Bowl 50 television audience close to 2015 record, early data shows

Police and military security patrolling several hours before the start of the NFL's Super Bowl 50 on Feb 7, 2016.
Police and military security patrolling several hours before the start of the NFL's Super Bowl 50 on Feb 7, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

(Reuters) - The television audience for the 50th Super Bowl this year was on course to approach 2015's record 114.4 million viewers, according to preliminary ratings data on Monday (Feb 8).

Early Nielsen figures from the biggest US cities showed that Sunday's showdown on CBS between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers delivered the second-highest overnight ratings on record for the Super Bowl, the most-watched television event annually in the United States.

Last year's Super Bowl drew a record audience of 114.4 million viewers to become the most-watched telecast in US history. TV audiences have risen for five of the last six Super Bowel contests.

Nielsen will issue total viewer figures for the game later on Monday, including the halftime show that starred Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars.