San Francisco's energy was already draining away in Super Bowl XLVII but then, a few minutes after Beyonce's halftime show, a power outage delayed the game by 34 minutes.
While lights started gradually coming back during the delay, equipment on the 49ers side was taken out by the outage.
CBS immediately had high-pressure decisions to make, with ad inventory at $5 million for 30 seconds waiting in the wings. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms vamped along with other on-air talent, noting gingerly that power had gone out "for a few moments" and focusing on breaking down the on field action.
Twitter erupted during the outage, with more than a few tweets noting that PBS' Downton Abbey stood to gain viewers. Keith Olbermann jokingly tweeted that it was "clearly sabotage" by PBS, ending his tweet with a "#blameBates" hashtag.
CBS Sports issued the following statement: "Immediately after the power failure in the Superdome, we lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Superdome. We utilized CBS's back-up power and at no time did we leave the air. During the interruption, CBS Sports' Steve Tasker, Solomon Wilcots and our studio team 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. All commercial commitments during the broadcast are being honored."
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