Super Bowl

CBS Claims Record Super Bowl Ratings in Early Tally

Early Figures Do Not Include Half Hour During Blackout

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Full results aren't quite in yet, but that isn't stopping CBS from claiming that last night's Super Bowl has trumped all other viewership records.

Ray Lewis during the blackout at the Super Bowl
Ray Lewis during the blackout at the Super Bowl

Using initial Nielsen measures of metered markets, a roundup of the most populous regions of the U.S., CBS said its broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII earned an average overnight household rating of 48.1 and a share of 71, making it what the network said was the highest-rated Super Bowl in the metered markets in history. The previous record-holder was Fox's broadast of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in 2011.

A ratings point represents one percent of the number of TV households. Share is the percentage of TV sets actually in use that are turned to a given program.

Not surprisingly, the telecast drew the most viewers in Baltimore, home of the victorious Ravens, and New Orleans, site of the game itself.

Metered-market measures aren't considered gospel, which arrives in the more-detailed, final Nielsen tallies that usually don't come out until later in the day after an event. Those later numbers will provide information on the number of people who watched the game.

CBS said the most-watched part of the game came between 10:30 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., the game's last few minutes.

The number do not include the half hour between 8:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., when game play was stopped for a power outage at the stadium.

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