CBS forced to vamp as game gets sidelined

A 34-minute blackout interrupting the Super Bowl sent CBS scrambling to fill time during the big game.

Some of the lights went out in New Orleans’ Superdome shortly after the third quarter, stopping play on the field for an extended period in which CBS relied on a mix of game analysis from its play-by-play team and updates on the status of the lights from a sideline reporter.

CBS also cut away from the action to show some promos for network programming, including its Monday night lineup.

If the lopsided score — 28-6 in favor of the Baltimore Ravens at the time of the blackout — wasn’t enough to stress the ratings for what is the year’s most-watched program, the break in the action could send viewers to options on other networks.

Though the impact wasn’t visible on air, the blackout took out numerous cameras and audio equipment that were being powered by 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.”

CBS also said that the blackout didn’t affect the commercials, which were not shown during the blackout.

Related: Blackout sheds light on sportscasters’ limits

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