CBS showcased its freshman drama, "Elementary," to an estimated audience of 20.8 million people after the game. That was markedly down from the 37.6 million who watched "The Voice" on NBC after the 2011 game or the 26.8 million who saw "Glee" on Fox in 2010. CBS noted that the drama did not begin until 11:11 p.m. on the East Coast because of the Superdome power outage.
CBS drew criticism from the Parents Television Council for not editing out a profanity said by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco shortly after the game. Flacco was caught by microphones describing his team's victory as "f------ awesome."
"No one should be surprised that a jubilant quarterback might use profane language while celebrating a career-defining win, but that is precisely the reason why CBS should have taken some precautions," said Tim Winter, president of the lobbying group, asking for the Federal Communications Commission to rebuke CBS.
The network had no immediate comment Monday on the complaint.
CBS has said it was airing the pregame, postgame and halftime portions of the show on tape delay to guard against the use of bad language or wardrobe malfunctions. The postgame delay does not begin until the first block of commercials after the game, which hadn't happened before Flacco's expletive.
CBS' Craig Ferguson was quick to poke fun at the power outage on his comedy show, which aired after "Elementary." He was shown plugging actress Lucy Liu's cellphone charger into a power outlet at the Superdome, despite instructions not to use it.
"It's one outlet," Ferguson said. "What could possibly go wrong?"
The picture switched to the lights going out in half the dome.