Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens
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Sunday (February 3) night's Super Bowl
XLVII showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the victorious Baltimore Ravens drew huge audiences to CBS, but fell short of breaking records, while "Elementary
" set series highs, but neared post-Super Bowl lows.
The Big Game averaged a Nielsen estimated 108.41 million viewers. That's a massive figure, but it's short of the records set by Super Bowl XLVI (111.3 million viewers) and Super Bowl XLV (111.0 million). That places Sunday's Super Bowl as the third most-watched program in television history, behind only the past two years' games.
The broadcast peaked between 10:30 and 10:47, as the 49ers attempt to complete an unlikely comeback fell just short, with an average of 113.92 million viewers.
The game was delayed by a 34-minute blackout, which pushed the special post-game airing of "Elementary" out of primetime. Despite having the latest start ever for a post-Super Bowl broadcast, "Elementary" drew an estimated 20.8 million viewers, including a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49.
Not surprisingly, CBS is emphasizing that this was, by a wide margin, the most watched "Elementary" episode ever. In addition, "Elementary" didn't deliver the lowest-ever ratings for a post-Super Bowl broadcast, a point-of-ignominy still held by ABC's 2003 "Alias" showcase, which also started just outside of East Coast primetime. "Elementary" drew 3.45 million viewers more than "Alias" and edged out the Jennifer Garner episode by 0.2 in the key demographic.