Sports
by Reggie Noble on February 4, 2013

A power outage that plunged half the Superdome into darkness and stopped game play for 34 minutes put a damper on Sunday’s Super Bowl ratings, which came in behind the 2012 and ’11 games, making it the third most watched broadcast in TV history.

An average of 108.4 million people watched Sunday’s game, which morphed from a pre-blackout walkover into a post-blackout squeaker in which the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.

An estimated 111.4 million people watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots at the 2012 Super Bowl and 111 million watched the game in ’11.

(FYI, 106.5 million in ’10.)

Incredibly CBS’s 1983 broadcast of the “M*A*S*H” series finale remains the country’s highest rated television broadcast in history — household ratings clocking the percentage of percentage of the country’s population watching a program.

The long-running anti-war drama’s finale logged 106 million viewers three decades ago which is remarkable considering there are about 114 million more people in the country today than back then.

At CBS’ request, Nielsen scrubbed the blackout period from its books. Savvy move, CBS.

The prolonged absence caused millions to tune out and never tune back in, though, because people are quitters.

[H/T: Washington Post]