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Super Bowl XLVIII sets all-time record for TV viewership

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Seattle’s 43-8 blowout of Denver in Super Bowl 48 offered little in the way of suspense, but 111.5 million viewers made it the most-watched television event in US history.

Ratings released by the Fox network on Monday showed Sunday’s game also set a record for the most-streamed online sports event, while a whopping 25.3 million related tweets composed by 5.6 million authors were logged before, during and after the contest.

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The viewership for the Seahawks’ lopsided victory eclipsed the previous record 111.3 million viewers who watched the 2012 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, according to the Nielsen tracking service.

The NFL’s championship spectacular is always a big TV draw and, until ratings for last year’s game showed a slight decline, the Super Bowl had set viewership records for three straight years.

The half-time show headlined by hit singer Bruno Mars, with guests the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was also a record breaker with an estimated TV audience of 115.3 million.

That eclipsed the 110.8 million who watched Beyonce last year, as well as the previous record of 114.0 million set by Madonna two years ago.

In its statement regarding the ratings, Fox concluded that interest in the game was piqued by the fact that it was the first Super Bowl to be played in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather location — and that it was played in the New York metropolitan area, a massive media market.

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Even though the Broncos didn’t manage to score until the end of the third quarter, viewership climbed through the first half.

“Viewership remained impressively high through the fourth quarter despite the fact that Seattle had the game well in hand,” a Fox statement said.

Fox said the most active moments on social media during the game were when Seattle’s Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown (429,000 tweets), the conclusion of the half-time show (424,000 tweets) and Most Valuable Player Malcolm Smith’s second-quarter interception return for a touchdown (300,000 tweets).

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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‘Exonerated Five’ member warns of a ‘dangerous time’ after latest Central Park incident

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On CNN Tuesday, Yusef Salaam, one of the members of the Exonerated Five, warned about the implications of recent racist incidents to the state of civil rights in America.

"I want to ask you, in the course of the last couple of days we've covered this story, we've covered the story of a man who died after police put him in a hold with a knee to the neck. Yesterday I spoke with an African-American journalist who covered the Kentucky governor being hung in effigy, with people doing it who didn't seem to understand why that was problematic," said anchor Brianna Keilar. "And I just wonder what that says to you, after all of these decades, about where the country is."

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There was a 60 percent chance for favorable weather for Wednesday's flight, according to Tuesday's latest Cape Canaveral forecast.

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DOJ closes insider trading investigations against three senators — but is still investigating Richard Burr: report

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On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Justice Department officials are closing insider trading investigations into three senators — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

However, a fourth probe, into insider trading allegations against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), is reportedly ongoing.

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