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Super Bowl 2013 TV ratings: Average viewer ratings decline

A record number of people watched at least six minutes of the Super Bowl, but the average

Scott Halleran

Despite a thrilling comeback which saw the 49ers come up just short in a 34-31 loss, the average ratings for Super Bowl XLVII declined from last season.

According to a report from Reuters, an average of 108.41 million viewers tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLVII. That is a decline from last year when an average of 111.3 million viewers watched the Super Bowl. The average viewership was also less than Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Even with the decline in ratings, Super Bowl XLVII still ranked as the third-most-watched program in television history.

While the average attendance may have been lower than last year, Sunday's Super Bowl did set a record for the most viewers. According to the report, 164.1 million people watched at least six minutes of the Super Bowl, an increase of three percent from last year.

It's still unknown how much the 35-minute partial blackout affected the overall ratings, although it appears it had some impact. CBS reported a record Nielson rating of 48.1, but that excludes the 35-minute span during the partial blackout. With that time period included the Nielson rating drops to 46.3.

Even though the third quarter delay may have dropped the ratings, viewers tuned back in for the end of the game. The highest-rated period came from 10:30 p.m. to 10:47 p.m. ET. San Francisco mounted a good portion of its comeback during the stretch with an average of 113.92 viewers watching.

The television ratings may have declined from last season, but the average rating didn't appear to have an impact on the social media reach. The Reuters report sites Bluefin labs in saying a record 30.6 million social media comments related to the game were made on Sunday. That is a significant increase over the 12.5 million comments last year.