Super Bowl XLVII was the third most-watched show in U.S. television history with 108.4 milion viewers -- but was down from the past two Super Bowls, which each set viewing records.
The news was sure to come as a disappointment to CBS, especially after preliminary numbers -- which measure ratings in 56 markets around the country -- found that the Super Bowl was the highest-rated ever in those markets.
Last year's Super Bowl XLVI had 111.3 million viewers and remains the most-watched television event. Super Bowl XLV in 2011 had 111.0 million viewers. In both 2011 and 2012, the game broke the previous viewership record. That streak ended with Sunday's game, which was marred by a 34-minute delay in play because of a partial blackout at New Orleans' Superdome.
Sunday's game was the second highest-rated since the Chicago Bears-New England Patriots game of 1986, CBS said. Super Bowl XLVII had an average fast national household rating/share of 46.3/69. The 1986 game had a 48.3/70.
An airing of the freshman drama "Elementary" after the game, meanwhile, was down dramatically from an episode of "The Voice" that NBC aired after the Super Bowl last year. But "Elementary" had a good excuse: It aired later than any previous post-Super Bowl program because of the long delay in the game.
"Elementary" had a 7.8 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and 20.8 million total viewers. That was enough to make it the highest-rated entertainment broadcast of the year in the demo.
"The Voice," by comparison, had a 16.3 rating and 37.6 million total viewers last year.
CBS' STATEMENT ABOUT THE 34-MINUTE BLACKOUT
"Immediately after the power failure in the Superdome, we lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Superdome. We utilized CBS’s back-up power and at no time did we leave the air. During the interruption, CBS Sports’ Steve Tasker, Solomon Wilcots and our studio team reported on the situation as a breaking news story, providing updates and reports while full power was being restored to the dome including our sets and broadcast booth. All commercial commitments during the broadcast are being honored.”