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Countdown to Super Bowl XLVI: Super Bowl TV isn't what it used to be - Ingles

Inevitably, NBC's six-hour pregame show Sunday will serve up some kitsch. But likely not much.

Super Bowl TV coverage, as the event itself has morphed into a sort of coronation of Napoleon for modern times, sadly seems to have shed much of its schmaltz.

NBC's Bob Costas, who is hosting his fifth Super Bowl Sunday, did his first in 1986 when the vivacious Up With People act was already in its fourth Super Bowl halftime. Costas recalls an NBC deal then to hype a Rodney Dangerfield movie that led to the chronically disrespected comedian continually popping up on the pregame, "and each time I'd throw it to him, his circumstances would become more absurd."

Hosting again in 1989, Costas was assigned to instruct viewers on how to use charmingly ineffectual giveaway 3-D glasses. "I'm standing there with these flimsy cardboard glasses and said, 'I'd just like to say for the record that it's the single proudest moment of my life.' The best you can do is good-naturedly surrender."

As did Costas, in 1993, in interviewing the halftime act: "I remember the instruction: 'No eye contact with Michael Jackson.' Which denied me a lifetime dream."

Still, Costas did confront a then-iconic Mr. T: "I said something like, 'I speak for most Americans in asking when you'll get rid of the jewelry, ditch the angry young man thing and slip into a nice three-piece suit and a pair of Thom McAn's' " — a glowering T, Costas says, was "absurdly amusing" in response.


ESPN and NFL Network this week each air 100-plus hours of Super Bowl stuff, including NFLN's 8½-hour Sunday pregame show, which overlaps with NBC's show.
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NBC seems determined to offer fresh insights, with only its overly formulaic "red-carpet" celebrity coverage seeming to have much potential for the kind of specialized schlock you used to find only at the Super Bowl. Too bad Super Bowl TV has to pretend it's covering a pageant, albeit one with lots of talking animals in the ads.

Other Super Bowl TV subplots

Sunday's Super Bowl TV rating is predictable: It will, like Super Bowls for 20 years, draw 40% to 46% of U.S. households.

But how many online users will watch the first-ever Super Bowl live stream in the USA? (It will use NBC's TV feed, which draws about 250,000 users for its Sunday night regular-season NFL games.)

•NBC analyst Rodney Harrison says it "still hurts" to see David Tyree's key "helmet catch" in the Giants' Super Bowl win agaisnt the Patriots in 2008. "Just to make Rodney really comfortable," says NBC producer Sam Flood, the pair will watch it together live on NBC's pregame.

•Aaron Rodgers, as a star quarterback, won't need his cameo as a guest NBC studio analyst Sunday to land a future TV job. But for two aging active players getting big Super Bowl TV shots — the Packers' Charles Woodson (added to NFL Network) and the Steelers' Hines Ward (on NBC) —their cameos are de facto auditions.

•The big change in Super Bowl demographics: Viewers from households making at least $100,000 annually last year comprised about 30% of the audience, up from 16% in 2001.

This article was written by Michael Heistand and appeared in USA Today.

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 09:24. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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