The national Nielsen rating for Sunday's Super Bowl was a 45.8, CBS announced Tuesday.
Although that rating is lower than expected, it still makes the game the ninth-highest-rated Super Bowl of the 21 played.
The audience was estimated at 122.6 million, down from last year's 127 million. A record viewing audience of 130 million had been predicted.
But because the New York Giants pulled away to a 39-20 victory over the Denver Broncos, the national rating dropped off toward the end of the telecast.
From 5 to 5:30 p.m., the rating was a 46.3, and it held at 46.2 for the next half-hour. But during the final two half hours of the telecast, when ratings normally increase, the ratings fell off to 45.8 and 44.7, respectively.