NEW YORK --
Preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings show the Super Bowl's audience was likely down from last year's peak, but about on par with the 2007 and 2006 games. The Pittsburgh-Arizona game on NBC recorded a 42.1 rating and 65 share in Nielsen's overnight measurement of the nation's top cities. The same measurement for last year's New York Giants-New England Patriots game, which was the most-watched Super Bowl ever, was 44.7.
The 2007 preliminary rating was identical to this year's, and the 2006 game was 42.2, Nielsen said. Each rating point represents 1,145,000 households. The share means 65 percent of the televisions turned on during the game were tuned to the game.
A viewership estimate was not immediately available, but will likely be about 90 million.