Business

Last-minute drama gives NBC Super Bowl ratings record

The New England Patriots last-minute win over the Seattle Seahawks gave Comcast Corp.’s NBC the biggest preliminary television rating in Super Bowl history.

The game was seen Sunday in 49.7 percent of homes in large US cities, the broadcast network said on Twitter. New England won the game 28-24, sealing it with a goal-line interception with 20 seconds remaining.

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The annual broadcast, the biggest US television event, set audience records in six of the previous seven years. Four of those were decided by Sunday’s four-point margin or less, though Seattle’s victory in 2014, which drew a 112 million viewers, was a 43-8 blowout.

Audience totals will be released later.

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Unlike last year, last night’s game went down to the last minute, as the Seahawks had a chance to become the first repeat National Football League champions since the Patriots in 2005.

Trailing by four points with just over a minute to play, Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse made a juggling 33-yard catch while lying on the ground at the New England 5-yard line, and running back Marshawn Lynch carried the ball to the 1-yard line on the next play. Rather than hand the ball again to Lynch, whose 17 rushing scores during the regular season and playoffs led the league, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson attempted to throw across the middle and was intercepted on the goal line by Malcolm Butler, all but ending the game.

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