Aside from being a very close game in the end, Super Bowl XLVII will likely also be remembered for the power outage that occurred early in the 3rd Quarter and delayed play for about 35 minutes. Even without the blackout included (Nielsen separated into its own telecast, undoubtedly at CBS’s behest) the game was down slightly compared to last year with an average of 108.7 million viewers. But the blackout coverage itself came in at 106.6 million, just two percent below the game – a swing that regularly happens from one 15 minute segment to the next.
Additionally, we noted that CBS aired the same ad pod twice – once immediately after the blackout cut the audio from the telecast, and then again once play resumed. We assume the reason for this was two-fold: one, to make up for any audience lost because of the power outage, and two, to keep their promises to advertisers regarding scheduling of their spots. The only ad break that aired in the middle of the down time featured a CBS promo.
Bluefin Labs is calling Super Bowl XLVII the most social TV event of all time, and the blackout is likely a contributing factor. Their trend line shows it as one of the more social moments of the telecast – the most social being Beyonce’s halftime performance, which more than quadrupled the social commentary generated by Madonna last year.