By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated February 02, 2009 at 10:49 PM EST

Super Bowl XLIII delivered just as much drama as last year’s matchup, but not quite as many viewers. Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Arizona Cardinals turned in a 42.1 rating for NBC, according to early Nielsen estimates — that’s about 6 percent down from last year’s outing on Fox, when the New York Giants pulled off a final-seconds upset of the New England Patriots. (Because the event is live, final tallies of the number of total viewers aren’t available yet.) But it’s still a solid performance in line with the previous three years — and NBC can use any solid performance it can find these days, especially with numbers this big.