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Combine a nail-biting game with a power outage, toss in a hyped halftime performance by Beyonce. and you're likely to score some big ratings.
The Baltimore Ravens' victory over the San Francisco 49ers, broadcast on CBS, has set a record for highest overnight ratings in Super Bowl history, the Nielsen company reported Monday.
Nielsen is expected to have an estimate of how many people watched the game later on Monday.
Nielsen reported the game scored a 48.1 rating and 71 share in its select measurement of big cities. That's 1 percent over a similar measurement in last year's game, which aired on NBC.
For three years in a row, the Super Bowl has set a new record for most-watched event in U.S. television history.
One ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share means that 71 percent of TVs that were on at the time were tuned to the Super Bowl.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Super Bowl ratings peaked at a 52.9 rating between 10:30-10:45 p.m. after the 49ers started inching closer to the Ravens.
At CBS' request, that ratings figure did not include a 30-minute period when there was a partial power outage in the Superdome.
Baltimore was leading 28-6 early in the third quarter when the outage occurred, so there was a chance that many viewers tuned elsewhere during that period, pulling down the average audience.
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."
The game also illustrated the explosive growth of second screen activity.
The company Trendrr TV, which tracks activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, estimated there were 47.7 million social media posts during the game.
That compares to 17 million during the 2012 Super Bowl and 3 million the year before that.
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