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Super Bowl ratings down from last year, reason unknown

The Baltimore Ravens line up for a play

The Baltimore Ravens line up for a play against the San Francisco 49ers. (Getty) Credit: The Baltimore Ravens line up for a play against the San Francisco 49ers. (Getty)

Sunday's close Super Bowl contest between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers failed to beat last year's game in total viewers, CBS said Monday.

An average of 108.41 million viewers tuned in, compared with 111.3 million a year ago when the Giants defeated the New England Patriots on NBC. CBS said it was the third-most-watched program in television history, behind last year's Super Bowl and 2011's matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, which garnered 111 million viewers.

CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether a 35-minute partial electrical blackout in the third quarter of the game affected ratings.

Advertisers paid $4 million on average for a 30-second spot during the game.

Late Sunday, CBS issued a statement saying that "all commercial commitments during the broadcast are being honored." CBS said earlier yesterday that the telecast earned an average overnight household rating of 48.1 in Nielsen's metered markets, up 1% compared with last year's Super Bowl. CBS said the rating excludes the blackout.

Here are the five Super Bowls that garnered the most viewers:

1. Super Bowl XLVI, 2012, Giants vs. Patriots (NBC) - 111.3M

2. Super Bowl XLV, 2011, Packers vs. Steelers (Fox) - 111M

3. Super Bowl XLVII, 2013, 49ers vs. Ravens (CBS) - 108.41M

4. Super Bowl XLIV, 2010, Saints vs. Colts (CBS) - 106.5M

5. Super Bowl XLIII, 2009, Steelers vs. Cardinals (NBC) - 98.7M

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