The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football in the United States, bringing to an end, a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). The day on which the Super Bowl is played is now considered a de facto American national holiday, called "Super Bowl Sunday". It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day.
In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most watched American television broadcast of the year. Super Bowl XLV played in 2011 became the most watched American television program in history, drawing an average audience of 111 million viewers and taking over the spot held by the previous year's Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is also among the most watched sporting events in the world, mostly due to North American audiences, and is second to Association football's UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide.