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Super Bowl Sets New TV Viewing Record


A record number of people tuned in to see Baltimore defeat San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII, according to a CBS statement.

That’s based on overnight ratings that project the game as pulling a 48.1 rating and a 71 share.

A rating is the percentage of all televisions in the measuring area (in this case, the country as a whole), whether they are in use or not; that means that nearly half of America’s televisions were on and tuned to the game. A share represents the number of televisions actually being watched that are tuned, so of televisions actually on at the time, almost three-fourths of them were tuned to the Super Bowl.

The Fox network held the previous ratings record, a 47.9/71 for Green Bay-Pittsburgh matchup on February 6, 2011.

The half-hour during which a power failure interrupted the game, from 8:45pm to 9:15pm, wasn’t included in the measurement. The average rating and share during that period was still a 46.5/68, which isn’t bad when you consider that many people were still willing to sit back and listen to people talking about lights not being on.

It’ll probably come as no surprise that Baltimore posted the highest overnight ratings, with a 59.6/83.

Overnight ratings are measured by set-top meters installed by Nielsen in households willing to participate in the measuring. Fifty-six of the nation’s 210 television markets have metered ratings, allowing Nielsen to compile a national average.

Did you watch any part of the game, all of it, or none of it?


  1. This was one of the best Super Bowls I can recall watching. It went from snoozer with Baltimore way ahead to a close game after the blackout. VERY fun to watch!

  2. I’m sure you know the answer to that one as far as I’m concerned.  I watched the entire thing – even through the blackout – as I didn’t want to miss anything.
    And now, no more football until August.  🙁

    1. Cathryn (aka Strange) I was really curious to see how they were going to handle the blackout. At one point, they were talking about having to postpone things, as if they meant NOT finishing it that night. What a nightmare that would have been!

      1. patricksplace Cathryn (aka Strange) I was worried, as well!  I think they would have had a riot on their hands if they tried to postpone the game!  I’m glad it didn’t come to that!
        Actually, I think the blackout was the best thing to happen in that game. I’m not sure how but it seemed to give San Fran the time they needed to regroup and stage their comeback! It might not have been a close game without it!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.