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    Preliminary rating puts Super Bowl just behind last year’s

    A compelling, high-scoring game between teams from major markets that isn’t decided until the final couple of minutes is what TV executives dream of when they pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the rights to broadcast the Super Bowl. That is exactly what NBC got Sunday night.

    The Eagles’ thrilling 41-33 victory over the Patriots earned a preliminary 47.4 overnight rating, down 3 percent from the Pats’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons last year. When final numbers come out, they will confirm that more than 100 million viewers watched the game on average, by far the largest television audience since last year’s Super Bowl.

    Perhaps the only disappointments were Justin Timberlake’s critically panned halftime performance and a brief blackout during a second-quarter commercial break NBC blamed on an “equipment failure.”


    NBC said it expected to earn $500 million in ad revenue from the Super Bowl. (The New York Times)