Did That Blackout Hit Super Bowl Ratings?

Media writers were finding it difficult assessing how that half-hour blackout during Sunday night's Super Bowl may have affected ratings. The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers drew an average audience of 108.4 million viewers, down from the 111.3 million last year and 111.0 million the previous year. The blackout occurred just as the second half began with Baltimore quickly scoring a touchdown to widen its lead to 28-6. After a few minutes of listening to the chatter of the game's announcers over video provided by the three still-functioning cameras, how many viewers switched away and never returned? That was hard to gauge. What that delay did provide, however, was a breathing space for the 49ers to revitalize and challenge the Ravens down to the wire during an exciting second half. The last 17 minutes of the game drew a total of 113.9 million viewers. The cause of the blackout has still not been determined. In an interview with the New York Times, CBS chief Les Moonves said, We heard everything from hackers to people who had bet on San Francisco to Beyoncé draining all the energy out of the place at halftime.



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