Beyonce’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVII drew an estimated 104 million viewers.
Widely seen as one of the singer’s most impressive performances, it preceded a power outage that blacked out the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz superdome for 34 long minutes.
However, figures during that period were not counted by Nielsen at CBS’s request.
In total, around 108.41 million tuned in to watch the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, making it the third-most-watched program in television history behind Super Bowl XLVI  and Super Bowl XLV .
Although concrete numbers are expected on Monday, early projections show Beyonce’s halftime extravaganza scored a 48.2 rating which translates to an average of 104 million people — or less.
The Washington Post correctly describes that figure as an achievement any television producer would “kill for.” Nevertheless, it is down from the 112.5 million that watched Madonna’s performance last year, and the 97.5 million who tuned in to see Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen in 2009.
Despite this, it’s doubtful Beyonce will lose any sleep over the dip.
After setting the stage on fire in a performance that touched off around 5.5 million tweets, critics have overwhelmingly reviewed the Houston native’s set far more generously than Madonna’s mock-Egyptian kitchen sink debacle, which was notable mainly for the obscene gesture made by guest singer M.I.A.
Jumped on by reporters as she came off the superdome stage, Beyonce couldn’t contain her excitement as she spoke to television reporters after her incendiary show.
Speaking first to Extra! TV’s Maria Menounos and AJ Calloway who gushed over her performance, the 31-year-old exclaimed,”Thank you so much, I want to go to Disney World!”
The singer’s enthusiasm continued backstage. Telling AJ Calloway how proud she was of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (aka Destiny’s Child), she said:
“I am feeling so proud. It was a really beautiful day. All the hard work, five months of preparation and it was really great,” adding that it was “so beautiful, it really was a magnificent night for me and the girls.”
Beyonce also had appreciative words for the other singers at the Super Bowl event.
“Alicia and Jennifer Hudson they were so classy and beautiful,” she praised. “It was just a great, great night to be woman.”
The “Crazy in Love”songstress later spoke to OMG! Insider’s Kevin Frazier as she walked from the stage through the superdome’s corridors, telling him:
“It feels good to know that the hard work paid off. You know it’s a live television show, it’s the biggest show in America and there’s so many things that that can happen. But God was on my side.”
Instagram pictures of the elated singer hugging her husband Jay-Z, running backstage, and jumping around delightedly with Rowland and Williams were posted by Beyonce’s jubilant camp that same evening.
Marking the event with a handwritten note to Keys, Hudson, Williams, and Rowland, Beyonce wrote of her “honor” at performing with them, adding that it was a “proud day for African American women.”
For this Grammy award winning artist, her Super Bowl halftime show produced another effect too. It definitively drew a line under the lip-sync brouhaha, and provided a priceless launch for a new tour announcement.
The so named “Mrs Carter Show” world tour will begin on April 15 in Belgrade, Serbia before taking in Dublin, London, Paris, and Berlin.
The North American leg of her first tour since 2009′s “I am …” trek, will kick off on June 28 at LA’s Staples center. That show will precede a three day multi-entertainment BET event at LA Live, Billboard notes.
The tour itself will end on August 3 at the Barclays Center in Jay-Z’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York, somewhat fittingly considering the tour’s name and the fact that the rapper owns shares in the venue.
Add all of that to the singer’s recently inked $50 million Pepsi deal, and a few million Nielsen numbers becomes the stuff only accountants sweat.