Biggs: Super Bowl does big numbers for CBS

Who knew a game not involving at least one team from a major media market in the Super Bowl could draw so well.

Final figures will be released later on today, but there reportedly is a strong chance Super Bowl XLIV will go down as the most-watched Super Bowl in history and top 100 million viewers, edging the thriller between Pittsburgh and Arizona last year that registered 98.7 million.

Nielsen Co. says that the Super Bowl, boradcast Sunday by CBS, achieved its highest overnight rating in 23 years. A quick measurement, whatever that is, of the country’s 55 largest markets gave the New Orleans Saints’ victory a 46.4 rating, more than four points better than last year’s game and the highest since the New York Giants tussled with the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI.

What does it all mean? Well, some observers would suggest it’s as good of a reason as any for owners and NFLPA leaders to see if they can get on the same page to reach an agreement so both parties can continue to enjoy the rabid popularity the game has. Failure to do so could only harm both parties.

What else does it mean? America loves a great story. The Saints provided one all season long.

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