As media outlets race to determine who was at fault for the half-hour power outage during Super Bowl XXLVII — does it really matter now if it the power company or the Superdome is to blame? — here’s a more intriguing story. How is it that the San Francisco TV market, which includes Oakland and San Jose and is the sixth-biggest in the U.S., finishes 28th in the overnight ratings among Nielsen’s 56 local metered markets? Oakland fans can be partially excused as the home of the rival Raiders, but still, it’s an NFL city. In the final totals, SF drew a 46.5 local rating, a Ray Guy punt away from Baltimore’s leading 59.6 — the latter number means 3 of every 5 TVs were tuned to the game, a record for the city according to the Baltimore Sun. So is it that the Niners fans were turned off by (and therefore they turned off) the team’s shaky start? Their team was down 28-6 before the lights went out. If so, it’s too bad they didn’t stick around for a great ending that most Super Bowls rarely have — the Ravens’ goal-line stand prevented the biggest comeback win in Super Bowl history. It all runs contrary to our very unscientific poll showing that the city was awash in red and gold for two weeks leading up to the game, with buzz levels high. So this is really a head-scratcher.
For the rest of the country, Sunday’s Ravens-49ers game garnered the highest overnight rating in Super Bowl history, a 48.1, though it was only the third-most-watched game with 108.4 million viewers.