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Just after Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown, the lights in the Superdome went out. / Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

Although CBS' Super Bowl coverage Sunday drew a 48.1 overnight rating ?? the highest in history -- the "fast" national rating shows the game was slightly down from last year's New Yoirk Giants' victory against the New England Patriots, with teams in two of the USA's biggest markets.

The Baltimore Raven's 34-31 victory against the San Francisco 49ers on CBS drew a 46.3 rating, translating to 46.3% of households in the USA, vs. the 47.0 rating for Giants-Patriots on NBC last year.

The positive spin for CBS is that the Harbaugh Bowl, or the Blackout Bowl -- the 33-minute power outage period isn't included in the ratings -- drew the second highest national rating since the 48.3 for the 1986 Super Bowl won by the Chicago Bears (Walter Payton, William "The Refrigerator" Perry) against the Patriots.

Last year's Giants-Patriots on NBC turned out to be the most-watched TV show in U.S. history. So far, the Ravens-49ers Super Bowl comes up the third most-watched TV show in U.S. history.

CBS' rating doesn't include viewership from 8:45-9:15 p.m. ET, when the game was delayed by the power outage in the Superdome in New Orleans.

Said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus on why that time period wasn't included in the Super Bowl rating: "Basically, ratings are for game coverage the advertisers are paying for."

He says CBS went to commercials immediately because the network had lost communication with its announcers and the use of most of its cameras. Then, in what was an unprecedented situation, he was informed by CBS' ad sales staffers that because there was no game coverage the air time wouldn't count in game ratings.

Baltimore was the highest-rated market for the game. There, coverage drew a 59.6% overnight of households.

The second-highest local market was host city New Orleans (57.1%), which was followed by Washington, D.C. (56.9). San Francisco was not among the 10 highest-rated markets.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Super Bowl off slightly in national rating from 2012

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