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Media notes: NBC claims Super Bowl record; Costas to MLB Network

February 3, 2009 | 12:45 pm

John Madden

NBC is calling Sunday's Super Bowl XLIII broadcast "the most-viewed television program in U.S. history with a total audience of 151.6 million viewers."

The super-sized claim comes with a footnote: Nielsen Media Research's definitition of "total audience" includes anyone who caught as little as six minutes of a broadcast.

When measured by "average audience" over an entire broadcast, the 1983 MASH finale remains still the leader, with 106 million average viewers.

The "average audience" for Sunday's game broadcast on NBC was 98.7 million, which edged out the Super Bowl XLII (Giants/Patriots) broadcast on Fox that drew 97.5 million average viewers.

When measured by "total audience," Sunday's NBC broadcast drew 151.6 million viewers, while last year's Fox broadcast drew 148.3 million.

The MASH finale drew an estimated 122 total viewers. That's still an impressive number given the dramatic population growth in the U.S. since 1983.

Keep reading if you can't get enough of Bob Costas.

Bob Costas The sports broadcaster has signed with the new MLB Network, where he'll host original baseball-centric programming and work in the broadcast booth during game telecasts.

MLB said it will be the "exclusive cable home for Costas." But Costas, who most recently hosted NBC’s Super Bowl XLIII coverage, will continue to host Olympic and NFL coverage for NBC.

Costas conducted an interview with Don Larsen and Yogi Berra (about Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series) that aired when MLB Network, baseball's new cable network went live on Jan. 1.

His new MLB Network show, "MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas" will make its debut at 5 p.m. (PT) on Thursday. Costas will interview Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who's been making his own news of late with a new book.

-- Greg Johnson

Editor's note: One reference to the MASH finale said that the show ran in 1984. It ran in 1983.

Photo (top): NBC broadcaster John Madden. Credit: Jerry Lai -US PRESSWIRE

Photo: Bob Costas. Credit: Steve Freeman / NBC

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