If you’ve been wondering why commercials in the Super Bowl command a $4.5 million rate, here’s your answer. A record high audience tuned in yesterday to watch The New England Patriots defeat the Seattle Seahawks. We’re estimating that about 110 million people tuned in.

The Super Bowl is a perfect storm for advertisers. Super Bowl Sunday is virtually a national holiday. And the Super Bowl is the ONLY televised event that commands such a huge audience, an audience that is watching LIVE, not DVR-ing for later consumption.

UPDATE: The ratings results came in better than expected. 49.7 rating, reaching 114.4 million people.