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Fox draws audience of 111.3M for Super Bowl, down slightly

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/6/2017 By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer
Atlanta Falcons' Devonta Freeman runs against New England Patriots' Dont'a Hightower during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) © The Associated Press Atlanta Falcons' Devonta Freeman runs against New England Patriots' Dont'a Hightower during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox drew an audience of 111.3 million viewers for the first Super Bowl to go into overtime, a smaller audience than the game has had in the last two years but still ranking among the biggest for a television program in the United States.

The top Super Bowl audience — and the biggest for any American TV show — was the 114.4 million viewers who saw the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, according to the Nielsen company.

Viewership for the Patriots' come-from-behind 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday had a relatively modest start, perhaps because the Falcons don't have much of a national profile. The game also looked like a rout in the third quarter, and some 4 million viewers slipped away around the time the Falcons took at 28-3 lead, Nielsen said.

People returned as the Patriots came alive. During overtime, the game had its biggest audience of 117.7 million, Nielsen said Monday. The overall audience figure of 111.3 million is an average of how many people were watching during a typical minute, taking into account the game's peaks and valleys.

The audience was 117.5 million for Lady Gaga's halftime performance, Nielsen said. Earlier in the day, Nielsen said 12.2 million watched President Donald Trump's interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Channel.

Last year's Denver-Carolina game reached an audience of 111.9 million.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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