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Super Bowl XLII the second most-watched TV show ever

NEW YORK -- The New York Giants' thrilling win over the New England Patriots was the most-watched Super Bowl ever, with 97.5 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said Monday.

The game eclipsed the previous Super Bowl record of 94.08 million, set when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in 1996. More people watched Sunday's game than all but one American television broadcast ever, the "M-A-S-H" finale in 1983, which was seen by 106 million viewers.

The game had almost all the ingredients Fox could have hoped for: a tight contest with an exciting finish involving a team that was attempting to make history as the NFL's first unbeaten team since 1972.

But the Giants ended New England's bid for perfection, 17-14. Throughout the game, the teams were never separated by more than a touchdown.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.

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