Ravens' Super Bowl win sets likely ratings record
Baltimore Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones (97) kisses the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
NEW YORK (AP) — Between a partial power outage, overly excited quarterback and a game that suddenly turned from snoozer to sizzler, CBS had its hands full with the Super Bowl. The audience offered a final reward, though.
The Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers set a Super Bowl record for highest ratings in the Nielsen Co.'s overnight measurement of large cities. Nielsen planned to estimate the game's viewership later Monday, and CBS hoped to make it the fourth year in a row that football's ultimate game broke the record for most-watched event in American television history.
The game's 48.1 overnight rating and 71 share was 1 percent above the same measurement for the 2012 game, Nielsen said.
Pro football ratings in general declined this season. And when the Ravens' Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown and gave his team a 28-6 lead, CBS' dream of a ratings record surely became more distant. And then half the lights went out. CBS' ratings immediately dipped by two full ratings points.
When the lights returned, so did the 49ers. They quickly jumped back in the game and CBS' audience, no doubt fueled by social media chatter, came back, too.
CBS had a moment of dead air when the field darkened, since power was lost in the control booth where Jim Nantz and Phil Simms worked. After a commercial break, sideline anchor Steve Tasker appeared to say there had been a power outage. CBS then filled time with its football pregame team, showing highlights and speculating on how the delay would affect the teams.
At the precise moment the lights went out, CBS' Armen Keteyian was in the NFL's control booth, conducting an interview with Frank Supovitz, senior vice president of the NFL in charge of events.
Beyonce performs with Kelly Rowland, left, and Michelle Williams, right, of Destiny's Child, during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
"In the NFL control room, there was no panic, but there was an undeniable amount of uncertainty about the cause," Keteyian said Monday on "CBS This Morning." Keteyian was filming for a "60 Minutes Sports" report scheduled to be aired on Wednesday.
Despite the presence of Keteyian and Jeff Glor, CBS News did not participate in live coverage of the power outage. The sports personnel were better situated close to the action, said Sonya McNair, CBS News spokeswoman.
"If they needed us we could have been there but there was no need, because it didn't rise to the occasion," she said.