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Why Did CBS' Super Bowl XLVII Ratings Fall Short?

Sunday nights’ Super Bowl XLVII brawl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers brought in the third highest rating for the annual sports broadcast and third highest-viewed television program in U.S. history.

The CBS broadcast of the 47th bowl game brought in an estimated 108.4 million viewers. That is 3% lower than last year’s NBC broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI, that saw the New York Giants earn their 4th Super Bowl Championship title against the New England Patriots.

Call it a coincidence or not, but the ratings survey omitted the viewership that occurred during the now historical power outage that happened between 8:45 pm to 9:15 pm. As a viewer myself, I must admit the power outage was the most interesting thing to happen in that game up to that point.

However, after the almost 34 minute delay, and probably the loss of a few jobs, the power was restored. Following the outage it seemed the 49ers, much like the electricity, were recharged and ready for round two. Nearing the conclusion of the game the viewing ratings were at an all time high.

According to Entertainment Weekly, this decline in viewers for this year’s Super Bowl were surprising. Due to an earlier metered-market household estimated that CBS’s broadcast of the game, claiming it would exceed the previous records. Critics are suggesting that this number might have been higher if it weren’t for the power loss. Perhaps next year’s game, hosted in New York, can claim the top spot.


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