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Super Bowl TV ratings drop slightly

The SportsXchange

Maybe a 34-minute power failure is to blame, but television ratings for Sunday night's Super Bowl fell from the previous year.

According to The Nielsen Company, an average of 108.4 million viewers watched the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. Last year, 111.3 million watched the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17.

Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday generated a Nielsen rating of 46.3. The previous year's Super Bowl drew a 47.0 rating.

Despite the drop, Sunday's game was the third-most-watched event in U.S. television history, trailing only last year's game and Super Bowl XLV. The February 2011 game in which the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 drew a 46.0 rating and an average of 111 million viewers.

Sunday's game on CBS drew 164.1 million total viewers, including those who only watched a brief time. That's the highest total in U.S. history, according to Nielsen, but the number is skewed by the fact that the game was the longest Super Bowl in history at 4 hours, 14 minutes.

In the third quarter, a partial power failure at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans caused a lengthy break in play.

The previous record of 162.9 viewers was set two years ago.

Super Bowls compose the top 22 most-watched shows of all time.

One ratings point equals 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million television homes. The share means on average, 46.3 percent of televisions that were on at the time were tuned to Sunday's game.

The Ravens-49ers game also set a new mark as the most popular social media event in TV history, according to third-party research firms BlueFin and Trendrr.

The Super Bowl attracted more than 47.5 million social comments, more than twice as many from last year's Grammy Awards and Super Bowl, according to Trendrr.
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