The Broncos had a consolation victory Sunday.

They participated in the most-watched program in U.S. television history, according to Fox Sports figures and Nielsen ratings.

Super Bowl XLVIII was watched by an average audience of 111.5 million people, surpassing the previous mark of 111.3 million set by the more closely contested Super Bowl XLVI (New York Giants vs. New England Patriots) in 2012 aired on NBC.

Sunday's game also was the most-watched program ever on Fox.

In Denver, the game produced the Broncos' highest audience share of the season — 85.7, with the highest quarter hour from 5:30-5:45 p.m., reaching a 90.2 share.

The game registered an overall 92 share in Seattle.

An audience share is based on the number of television homes in a given area watching television and tuned into a particular program.

Nationally, the game registered a 69 audience share.

The ratings record is further evidence of live events becoming dependable and valuable properties for broadcast television at a time when the audience is fragmenting and ratings for regular entertainment shows continue to fall.

"Big-event television is a great way for people to have a communal event, to talk about it socially and to talk about it as a group," said Bill Wanger, executive vice president for programming and research at Fox Sports, told The Associated Press. "You see that in the Super Bowl numbers of the past four or five years. They've just gone up to a different level."

The game also set standards for the most-streamed sports event online and, with 24.9 million tweets, the biggest U.S. live tele- vision event on Twitter.

"We were a little surprised, absolutely," Wanger told The Associated Press. The blowout had some at Fox worried that enough people would tune out in the fourth quarter to ruin any chance at a ratings record. So when Percy Harvin ran back the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown to give the Seahawks a 29-0 lead, "let's just say we weren't popping champagne bottles," Wanger said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.