Downton ratings second only to the Super Bowl

By Ben Mook

Up against the ratings powerhouse that was Super Bowl XLVII — PBS’s Downton Abbey not only held its own, but came in second place for the night.

PBS and WGBH cited Nielsen Overnight data in reporting that Downton drew a 4.4 household rating Feb. 3.  Average audience ratings for the first five episodes of Season 3 of the Masterpiece Classic miniseries have been 72 percent larger than the viewership of the first five episodes of Season 2, which aired last winter.

Nielsen said the Super Bowl, which the Baltimore Ravens won over the San Francisco 49ers, was viewed by an estimated 108.4 million people, making it the third most-watched program in U.S. television history.

Season 3 of Downton Abbey wraps up on Feb. 17 with a 90-minute finale.

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