Baltimore Ravens’ win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl is on course to become the most-watched programme in US television history despite its black out.
Early viewing figures for the game, which lasted more than four hours, suggested a 48.1 rating – i.e. an average of 48.1 per cent of US TV households across the broadcast – in 56 major US television markets watched the game on CBS, according to the New York Times.
This was up on the previous overnight high, a 47.9 rating, registered by the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New York Giants’ win over Denver Broncos in 1987.
A power failure plunged the event into darkness less than two minutes into the second half. CBS initially struggled to cope with the power outage, but the delay was credited with injecting new life into the contest, which at the time was being dominated by Baltimore who were up 28-6.
The unscheduled break also generated a social media frenzy which is likely to have attracted more viewers to the game, wanting to find out what happened next. Social TV analytics company Blue Fin Labs said it was the biggest social media TV event ever, generating 30.6 million public tweets and Facebook comments, up from 12.5 million last year.