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Overnight ratings make Super Bowl XLVII most watched TV event in U.S. history

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

The overnight ratings for the Super Bowl are in and the 34-minute power outage didn’t wind up hurting CBS.

It actually appears to have helped them. Nielsen is reporting that the game posted a 48.1 rating and 71 share in its measurement of the biggest cities in the country, numbers that would make it the most watched event in American television history. One ratings point equals 1.147 million people — last year’s game did a 47.9 rating and was the previous record holder — and the share means that 71 percent of televisions turned on at the time were tuned into the game.

CBS asked Nielsen not to include ratings during the period when the power was out at the Superdome. The rating dropped to 46.5 during that period, according to the Associated Press, and including those numbers could have dropped the overall rating short of record level.

The game probably wouldn’t have reached those heights if not for the change in momentum that followed the lights going out in the Superdome in the third quarter. Whether that 49ers comeback was spurred by the delay or not is impossible to know, but it definitely represented the shift from what looked like a blowout to something much more compelling. The final half-hour of the game did a 52.4 rating and a 75 share and CBS also reported a spike in viewers watching the game online after the game resumed.

UPDATE 4:14 p.m. ET:  According to SportsBusiness Daily, the official numbers are now out, and the audience actually was down from the last two years.

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47 Responses to “Overnight ratings make Super Bowl XLVII most watched TV event in U.S. history”
  1. seacab1972 says: Feb 4, 2013 1:46 PM

    It would have been even better if it wasn’t in New Orleans.

  2. logicalvoicesays says: Feb 4, 2013 1:50 PM

    Just wait until a real superstar/team like Robert Griffin and the Redskins play in the SB next Feb…every American TV record will be shattered because RGIII and the Redskins are the most interesting player/team in the Sports World. Can’t wait.

  3. skoobyfl says: Feb 4, 2013 1:50 PM

    Job well done by CBS as well.

  4. gasolinejt says: Feb 4, 2013 1:53 PM

    Every year the Super Bowl beats the record it set the last year.

  5. humbleminded85 says: Feb 4, 2013 1:53 PM

    Glad you all were able to witness greatness. Joe Flacco is your SuperBowl MVP…deal with it.

  6. mvp43 says: Feb 4, 2013 1:53 PM

    Great! so even more people watched Jim Harbaugh act like a spoiled kid. when things didn’t go his way.

  7. dvdman123 says: Feb 4, 2013 1:54 PM

    Goodell is probably telling the owners right now “see I told you knocking the power out would help the ratings”.

  8. surfinbird1 says: Feb 4, 2013 1:56 PM

    Who cares. It’s over. Lets start releasing players & signing free agents. We got that to beat to death until the draft.

  9. blars82 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:00 PM

    Can you also please provide the ratings for the Puppy Bowl?

  10. mp42245 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:01 PM

    Were you even there. It was the best four day holiday I ever took. I live in Canada and a Super Bowl junkie. Been to a few and this was the best experience I’ve ever had. Quit being a hater.

  11. ickky says: Feb 4, 2013 2:01 PM

    Way to drop the ball in front of the world New Orleans LOL

  12. dvdman123 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:04 PM

    Highes rating Super Bowl in the best city to host a Super Bowl….power outage or not.

  13. whoisedgy says: Feb 4, 2013 2:13 PM

    @skoobyfl

    I thought CBS was horrible. The talking horse was not intelligible and everyone on their set was talking a mile a minute. Phil Simms showed why lags behind Collinsworth and Aikman as an analyst.

    By the way, what happened to Boomer Esiason during the black-out? He was not on set.

  14. honkeyt says: Feb 4, 2013 2:15 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Feb 4, 2013 1:50 PM
    “Just wait until a real superstar/team like Robert Griffin and the Redskins play in the SB next Feb…every American TV record will be shattered because RGIII and the Redskins are the most interesting player/team in the Sports World. Can’t wait.”

    You had a quote the other day that got over 1100 thumbs down. Keep it up, you are pure comedy!

  15. commonsensedude says: Feb 4, 2013 2:16 PM

    I wish CBS had shown a “Goodell Cam” during the power outage. It would have been even more entertaining to watch his face turn various shades of red for 34 minutes.

  16. nyyjetsknicks says: Feb 4, 2013 2:18 PM

    And the salary cap will barely move. Makes sense…

  17. alskdh says: Feb 4, 2013 2:21 PM

    And just think, minus the harbaughs in the playoffs, we would have had Brady and NE (or Denver and Manning) vs Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. Which would have topped that easily.

    I think this is attributed to the growing popularity ofthe nfl, and its playoffs in general, not necessarily the teams at Hand.

  18. aspirean says: Feb 4, 2013 2:25 PM

    After-night ratings make this superbowl the most complained about sporting event since a pass interference was not called in an identical situation against the Falcons in the NFC championship. This no-call literally handed the 49ers the win.

    Oh, wait. No one is really complaining about that. I guess it is just the immature people who thing that the world revolves around them and what they want to happen that root for the 49ers….?

  19. lonespeed says: Feb 4, 2013 2:30 PM

    With the rise of popularity of laptops and iPads….how many people ‘really’ watched compared to 10-years ago.

    I’m a die-hard NFL fan, and I probably missed about 1/4 of the game because I started losing interest in the 3rd quarter due to other distractions.

    I’ve almost trained myself to completely ignore commercials and it annoyed me when I naturally did this and missed several commercials this Sunday.

    Call it the five-hour energy phenominon. I can barely type this response without multi-tasking. Ten years ago I didn’t do that and I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing.

  20. eagleomaniac says: Feb 4, 2013 2:33 PM

    It was a great game!! One of the best Super Bowls in a long time…

  21. rpiotr01 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:35 PM

    Yeah suck it, moon landing!

  22. runmarshawnrun says: Feb 4, 2013 2:35 PM

    The power outage is such a non-issue. Transformers blow up, S happens. Props to New Orleans for getting it back online in 34 min. I’ve lost power many, many times and the local utility company can take days to get it back on.

    Also, compared to Snowmaggeddon in Dallas a few years ago, and the 500 people who showed up and were told they didn’t have a seat, a half hour power outage seems minor.

  23. gandalfthefunky says: Feb 4, 2013 2:41 PM

    @whoisedgy

    Boomer was up in the press box calling the game on the radio, when the power went out he stayed up there on the radio because the elevators were out.

  24. supashug says: Feb 4, 2013 2:43 PM

    Flacco showed why he is on his way to being one of the best QBs in the league

    Ravens World Champions!

  25. riggz91 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:45 PM

    Boomah also does color for cbs radio so he was on air during the black out.

  26. paepae805 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:46 PM

    Brett Favre is coming back to Green Bay and will be there next year. That will equal earth shattering ratings not ever approached by any show before.

    #4 is God

  27. ilovefoolsball says: Feb 4, 2013 2:48 PM

    New York has a lot to prove after this SuperBowl.
    Everyone who made the trip to New Orleans had the experience of a lifetime.
    The only people who are complaining about the power outage were the losers who complain about everything. I’ve not heard one player, coach or anyone who was actually at the game complain about the power outage. Only the people who were getting everything for free or have a hatred for all things New Orleans.

    Good luck New York, you’ll need it to be able to top this year’s event.

  28. dexterismyhero says: Feb 4, 2013 2:50 PM

    CBS asked Nielsen not to include ratings during the period when the power was out at the Superdome. The rating dropped to 46.5 during that period, according to the Associated Press, and including those numbers could have dropped the overall rating short of record level.
    =================================

    So it wasn’t the most watched!!!!!

  29. ravensdominate says: Feb 4, 2013 2:50 PM

    That’s right! RAVENS BABY!!!! The best football team in the WORLD!!!!

  30. edisbetterthantroy says: Feb 4, 2013 2:54 PM

    Rest of the world, meet Joe Flacco. In case you didn’t know, he’s done nothing but win playoff games since he entered the NFL. Get ready to learn more about him this week as he’ll be on the MVP media tour, including talk shows and appearances. He’s got more personality than you think.

    Respect #5, Joe Cool. And kiss the ring!

  31. castleofcheese says: Feb 4, 2013 2:54 PM

    Is it still newsworthy when it happens every single year?

  32. musicman495 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:57 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Feb 4, 2013 1:50 PM

    Just wait until a real superstar/team like Robert Griffin and the Redskins play in the SB next Feb…every American TV record will be shattered because RGIII and the Redskins are the most interesting player/team in the Sports World. Can’t wait.
    —————————————
    Please us the off button. You give more grown up Redskins fans a bad name.

  33. tomahoochi says: Feb 4, 2013 2:57 PM

    It’s a good thing that all the events went perfectly and it was a shining reflection on the NFL, New Orleans and the US!

  34. jimbo75025 says: Feb 4, 2013 3:01 PM

    alskdh says:
    Feb 4, 2013 2:21 PM
    And just think, minus the harbaughs in the playoffs, we would have had Brady and NE (or Denver and Manning) vs Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. Which would have topped that easily.
    —————-

    In the increasingly WWF themed NFL, now that we have had the Har-Bowl, my bet is that in the next two years we will be provided to the spectacle of a Manning brothers Super Bowl. Bound to be arranged before Peyton retires. Book it.

  35. skinsfaninnebraska says: Feb 4, 2013 3:09 PM

    As a lifelong Redskins fan let me state emphatically that the views and opinions expressed by logicalvoicesays are strictly his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Redskins Nation.

    Congrats to the Ravens! Well done, gentlemen.

  36. fiyeaglesfiy says: Feb 4, 2013 3:12 PM

    Surprising, I would think it would be down considering how many people watch the Super Bowl in large groups. Really a lot more people are watching than the ratings are able to account for.

  37. bigbluefan11 says: Feb 4, 2013 3:16 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Feb 4, 2013 1:50 PM

    Just wait until a real superstar/team like Robert Griffin and the Redskins play in the SB next Feb…every American TV record will be shattered because RGIII and the Redskins are the most interesting player/team in the Sports World. Can’t wait.

    =====================================================

    It’s not even a given that Griffin plays next season. He has a rather serious knee injury. And if he DOES try to play, one has to hope his twice rebuilt knee holds up to the pounding. Sad but true.

  38. cooklynn17 says: Feb 4, 2013 3:18 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Feb 4, 2013 1:50 PM

    Just wait until a real superstar/team like Robert Griffin and the Redskins play in the SB next Feb…every American TV record will be shattered because RGIII and the Redskins are the most interesting player/team in the Sports World. Can’t wait.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Only if you consider the regular season game at the Meadowlands the Redskins Superbowl, because your team isn’t even coming close to Metlife Stadium in February.

    Hail = FAIL.

  39. raiders757 says: Feb 4, 2013 3:24 PM

    alskdh says: Feb 4, 2013 2:21 PM

    And just think, minus the harbaughs in the playoffs, we would have had Brady and NE (or Denver and Manning) vs Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. Which would have topped that easily.
    ———————————————————-

    No it wouldn’t. It doesn’t matter who’s in he Super Bowl, the same people are going to watch it anyhow, no matter who they are. If anything, New England being there would reduce the ratings, because everyone is sick and tired of them. Super Bowl ratings will go up every year, no matter who’s plying in the game. It’s damn near a national holiday and a great excuse to throw a party.

  40. aspirean says: Feb 4, 2013 3:34 PM

    Yeah suck it, moon landing!
    ========

    Just as an FYI, the population of the world was, ballpark, about 2 billion less during that time. So its ratings probably would pale in comparison to some pretty mundane modern events.

  41. wwbbsay says: Feb 4, 2013 3:36 PM

    lonespeed says:
    Feb 4, 2013 2:30 PM
    With the rise of popularity of laptops and iPads….how many people ‘really’ watched compared to 10-years ago.

    I’m a die-hard NFL fan, and I probably missed about 1/4 of the game because I started losing interest in the 3rd quarter due to other distractions.

    I’ve almost trained myself to completely ignore commercials and it annoyed me when I naturally did this and missed several commercials this Sunday.

    Call it the five-hour energy phenominon. I can barely type this response without multi-tasking. Ten years ago I didn’t do that and I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing.

    ========================

    Amen, I volunteered to work last night and dvr’d the game as I did so many this year, it is amazing, watch a game in under 2.5 hours no stupid commercials, no beyonce, no light delay, even ff thru some long huddles.

    Win Win, get to show off at work getting extra done and no bs when watching, just football

  42. lennydpocketqb says: Feb 4, 2013 3:39 PM

    dvdman123 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:04 PM

    Highes rating Super Bowl in the best city to host a Super Bowl….power outage or not.

    ______________________________

    Was this game played in L.A.?

  43. cwwgk says: Feb 4, 2013 3:48 PM

    That Goodell sure is ruining the league’s popularity.

  44. justintuckrule says: Feb 4, 2013 4:09 PM

    The game wasn’t even that great. After the lights came back on, it became 7 on 7 with no ebbs and flows.

    When the Giants and Pats play game #3 of the trilogy in the Meadowlands next February, all Neilson calculations will end there because every pair of eyes on the planet will watch that beautiful game played by the greatest weather QB of all time against the slayer of the greatest weather QB of all time.

  45. ravenator says: Feb 4, 2013 4:28 PM

    Awesome! So happy everyone got to witness Flacco win MVP. What a game. What a night.

  46. bobzilla1001 says: Feb 4, 2013 4:38 PM

    REAL football fans know that the conference championship games are just as, if not more compelling than Super Bowls. Since roughly 40 million REAL football fans watch the conference title games, that means about 70 million non-football fans annually watch Super Bowls.
    Never do so many “watch” something they know so little about…

  47. mazblast says: Feb 4, 2013 7:29 PM

    alskdh says:Feb 4, 2013 2:21 PM

    And just think, minus the harbaughs in the playoffs, we would have had Brady and NE (or Denver and Manning) vs Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. Which would have topped that easily.
    ——————————————
    Uh, no. It would have been Tammy Brady, Belicheat & Co. vs. Matt Ryan, Mike Smith, and the Falcons.

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