CBS Honors Super Bowl Ad Commitments Even With Game Delay

CBS Corp. honored all its commercial commitments for last night’s Super Bowl broadcast, even after a power failure delayed the game for more than half an hour, the network said in an e-mailed statement.

The company doesn’t expect to be financially affected by the incident, said a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to talk. Companies paid an average $3.75 million for 30-second ads during the game, 7.1 percent more than a year ago, according to researcher Kantar Media, part of WPP Plc.

About one minute of play into the third quarter, a section of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans lost power. CBS cut to a commercial break and returned with sideline reporters Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots covering the power failure from the field. The network stayed with the story and resumed commercials only after play restarted, airing ads during the action as planned.

The CBS broadcast booth with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, along with some cameras and audio, were affected by the power failure, New York-based CBS said.

“We utilized CBS’s back-up power and at no time did we leave the air,” Jennifer Sabatelle, a CBS Sports spokeswoman, said in the statement. The network “reported on the situation as a breaking news story, providing updates and reports while full power was being restored to the dome including our sets and broadcast booth.”

With a push from the Super Bowl, CBS is poised to become first in both total audience and advertiser-targeted viewers ages 18 to 49 for the first time in two decades. CBS, home to the drama “NCIS” and the comedy “Big Bang Theory,” is already the most-watched U.S. network, averaging 8.9 million prime-time viewers since the TV season began in September.

CBS, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, gained 1.7 percent to $42.41 on Feb. 1 in New York. The stock has climbed 11 percent this year.

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