NEW YORK - As it does nearly every year, the Super Bowl will almost certainly stand as the most-watched television event of 2013. This year, the Blackout Bowl wasn't too far behind.
CBS prevailed upon the Nielsen Co. to estimate how many viewers watched the Baltimore Ravens' victory over the San Francisco 49ers while excluding the 34 minutes in the third quarter where the game was stopped because of a partial power outage in the Superdome. The game was seen by an average of 108.7 million people, down from the last two years but still ranking as the third most-watched show in U.S. television history.
Leaving aside the outage period, which came at a time the Ravens had a big lead, was likely CBS' attempt to nudge the viewership to a historically high level.
Yet few people were interested in tuning out. Nielsen said 106.6 million watched the power outage delay, which was basically extended scenes of first half highlights and players stretching to keep warm.
CBS dominated the week's non-football programming, too. In a positive sign for Fox, its new drama "The Following" was the most-watched scripted show on ABC, NBC or Fox last week, Nielsen said.