Update: Super Bowl XLVII was 3rd most-watched program in TV history


Now that the final Fast National numbers are in, CBS’ telecast of Super Bowl XLVII was seen by an average of 108.4 million viewers, making it the third-most-watched program in television history, after last year’s Super Bowl XLVI and Super Bowl XLV two years ago.

Last February, the New York Giants’ 21-17 win over the New England Patriots was seen by 111.3 million; Green Bay’s 31-25 win over Pittsburgh in 2011 attracted 111.0 million.

Viewership for Sunday night’s game, a 34-31 win for the Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers, was undoubtedly hurt by a blackout at the Louisiana Superdome that interrupted play for almost 34 minutes in the third quarter. Also, the Ravens seemed to be on their way to a rout for much of the game, leading 21-6 at halftime and extending their lead to 28-6 not long before the blackout. When play resumed, the 49ers made their furious comeback attempt.

Super Bowl XIV

The 49ers, trailing 34-29 with two minutes left in the game, had first and goal at the Raven 7-yard line, but could not get in, possibly due to a controversial non-holding call that left Niners coach Jim Harbaugh fuming after the game.

Earlier Monday, the game’s preliminary overnight rating of 48.1, covering Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, was cited as the highest ever for a Super Bowl. But sometimes there can be a big disparity between those 56 markets and the full Nielsen sample of 210 U.S. markets, which includes many more small towns and outlying areas.

Super Bowl XLVII generated an average rating of 46.3 and a 69 share, good enough for a ninth-place tie among the 10 highest-rated Super Bowls in television history.

Super Bowl XIV, broadcast by CBS in January 1980, also had a 46.3 rating, with a 67 share. The Pittsburgh Steelers topped the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 to win their fourth Super Bowl title. See Reveal Shot update on the 10 highest-rated Super Bowls through Sunday.

The Ravens-49ers game had a peak rating of 50.7 with a 73 share as the game drew to its exciting conclusion, from 10:30-10:47 p.m. Eastern.

— David B. Wilkerson