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Monday, February 4, 2013
Super Bowl just shy of TV record


NEW YORK -- An estimated 108.4 million people watched Super Bowl XLVII, making it fall short of setting the fourth straight viewership record. The Nielsen Company said Monday that the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers was the third most-viewed program in television history. The most-watched events in U.S. TV history were last year's Super Bowl, seen by 111.3 million, and the 2010 game, with 111 million viewers. Football viewership in general declined this year. But with a thrilling finish, this year's game did become the fourth Super Bowl to record more than 100 million viewers. Overnight ratings initially indicated that Sunday's contest may have been the most-watched program in history. Baltimore had the highest rating of any individual city, Nielsen said. San Francisco was not among the top 10 cities in ratings. At CBS' request, the overnight ratings figure did not include a 30-minute period when there was a partial power outage in the Superdome. During that period, the metered market rating was 46.5, nearly two full points behind the 45-minute period directly before it. The power outage was an immediate hot topic for quips and questions online. There were an estimated 47.7 million social media posts during the game, according to the company Trendrr TV, which tracks activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. That compares with 17 million during last year's game and 3 million in 2010, Trendrr said. The network also drew criticism by the Parents Television Council for not moving quickly enough to edit out a profanity said by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco shortly after the game. Flacco was caught by microphones describing his team's victory as "f------ awesome." "No one should be surprised that a jubilant quarterback might use profane language while celebrating a career-defining win, but that is precisely the reason why CBS should have taken some precautions," said Tim Winter, president of the lobbying group, asking for the Federal Communications Commission to rebuke CBS. The network had no immediate comment Monday on the complaint. CBS has said that it was airing the pregame, postgame and halftime portions of the show on tape delay to guard against the use of bad language or wardrobe malfunctions. The postgame delay does not begin until the first block of commercials after the game, which hadn't happened before Flacco's expletive. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.