Game delayed nearly 35 minutes
In an incredibly high-profile snag in the midst of the country's most popular televised event, the Super Bowl was delayed by about 35 minutes in the third quarter by a power failure in half of New Orleans' Superdome.
NFL officials asked players to stay on the field as the stadium tried to restore power. Lights gradually came back on, a few at a time, as Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers players stretched to try to stay loose.
The game wasn't just delayed by darkness: CBS said the 49ers' communications equipment went down, while the power on the Ravens' side was quickly restored.
Sideline reporter Steve Tasker first informed viewers of the outage after a commercial break. He said it might be a few minutes before viewers would hear regular announcer Jim Nantz, because "half the power in New Orleans' stadium, the Super Dome here, is out."
He said the scoreboard and "almost a perfect semi-circle" of the lights around the stadium went dark. No one was reported injured.
The delay halted the momentum for the Ravens, who led the 49ers 28-6 when the outage occurred.
CBS's regular commentators were back dissecting the game within minutes. They traded jokes about whether the outage was caused by Beyonce's light-filled halftime show or a "power surge" by the Ravens' offense.
Power was finally restored around 9:10 p.m.