The economic downturn is irrelevant to the issue and discussion of this SB being one of the best ever. My point of the high viewership ratings is that people don't tune in and stay tuned into a SB match if it's dull. This was a close match 'til the end and and the viewership numbers reflect that fact....not an opinion.
Or it could be that the halftime show, the commercials and all the spectacle of it was more interesting this year to people for some reason. I know that at the superbowl party I was at, a lot of the people there were cheering more for the commercials then the game.
Or maybe it's just because everyone was extra excited because the Steelers are the greatest sports franchise EVER!
Or maybe this year there were more good-looking dudes on the field than usual, and that brought the ladies into the fold.
Or maybe it was because the Cardinals were just so charismatic and entertaining that nobody could resist.
Or maybe a combination of all three of those. Except that last one. That's just a load of crap if I ever saw one.