Super Bowl

Samsung 'Pitch' Is Super Bowl's Second-Highest-Rated Ad. But No. 1 Is...

No. 1 Ad Seems to Have Been CBS Promo for 'Person of Interest'

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The highest-rated TV commercial in Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII apparently wasn't a paid ad from a big marketer, but a CBS promo.

Michael Emerson as Finch on 'Person of Interest'
Michael Emerson as Finch on 'Person of Interest' Credit: CBS

A spot promoting "Person of Interest" that aired at 10:31 p.m. won a household rating of 47.4, Kantar Media said Tuesday, meaning 47.4% of households in Kantar Media's panel were turned in at that point. That narrowly beat Samsung's "The Big Pitch," in which Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd argued over Super Bowl ad ideas -- good for a 47.2 household rating.

Kantar said its data comes from second-to-second tuning records from its Return Path Data sample of set-top boxes in 100,000 houses across the U.S.

Turning ratings do not, of course, necessarily mean that audiences had their eyes focused on the TV set, and it's possible that TV promos didn't rivet viewers as well as big-budget major-marketer spectacles. CBS ran 42 promotions for its lineup during the Super Bowl, according to Kantar Media, about 43% of the overall ads.

Put another way, network promos took up 20.6% of all ad time within the 2013 Super Bowl, up significantly from 13.9% last year, Kantar Media said.

Although advertisers have often wanted to run their spots early in the game, this Super Bowl again kept viewers through the end -- and did not lose audience even during the power outage. The best-performing commercials appeared in the two-minute warning before the end of the game.

Here are the 25 Super Bowl commercials with the biggest TV audiences, according to Kantar Media: