11:59am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Animal Planet's 'Puppy Bowl' Audience Swells During Superdome Blackout
TV viewers who started channel-surfing during Sunday's 30-minute Super Bowl blackout found their way to the Puppy Bowl.
Animal Planet's ninth-annual alternative to the football festivities, featuring a roster of small dogs playing on AstroTurf for a 12-hour loop, saw its best-ever ratings on Sunday and a notable boost during the big game's delay on CBS. The Puppy Bowl IX brought in a record 12.4 unique viewers over the course of the day, up a whopping 43 percent from last year's 8.7 million haul. It ranks as the day's top cable broadcast.
The broadcast saw especially good numbers between 8:51 and 9 p.m. ET as the Super Bowl blackout wore on without any gameplay or high-profile commercials. It raked in 1.1 million viewers, up 54 percent from the previous segment.
Animal Planet also reports that tweeting about the Puppy Bowl rose from last year, up to 300,000 Tweets from 214,000 Tweets during the first segment alone. Animal Planet also saw a 27-percent boost in web traffic compared to last year and generated 1.6 million video streams.
The entire starting lineup of Puppy Bowl IX has already been adopted.