Super Bowl Sunday is a “de facto” American holiday, making it the most watched
television program in history. Last year’s Super Bowl XLIV had 106.5 million viewers,
beating out the series finale of M*A*S*H, which previously held the record with 105.97
million viewers. There is a significant percentage of the audience that watches the game
solely for the new commercials, but for the larger percentage of viewers who care about
the game, the people in the broadcasting booth can make or break the experience. FOX
has broadcasting rights for this year’s big game, therefore Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
will be providing the commentary from the booth.
With CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC rotating the coverage of the Super Bowl, viewers are
treated with a different crew to deliver the commentary each year. This means that the
play-by-play announcers, color commentators, sideline reporters, studio hosts, studio
analysts, and trophy presenters are different each season, unless of course they are
still with their respective network when their season to broadcast comes up again. For
example, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were in the booth three years ago for Super Bowl
XLII and are also slated to be for Super Bowl XLVIII, which is three years from now.
ABC has not broadcasted a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XL which was on February 5,
2006 (5 seasons ago).
The first Super Bowl, which was played on January 15, 1967 was actually broadcast
on both CBS and NBC, with both networks using the same video footage but providing
their own individual commentary. From then until 1984, NBC and CBS rotated Super
Bowl coverage, ABC broadcasted their first Super Bowl, XIX, on January 20, 1985. The
first Super Bowl to be broadcasted on FOX was Super Bowl XXXI which was played
on January 26th, 1997. Only one time since CBS broadcasted Super Bowl I and II did
a network get the Super Bowl two straight years. Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl
XXVIII were both on NBC in January of 1993 and 1994. Some notable Super Bowl
commentators throughout history include John Madden, Pat Summerall, Al Michaels,
and Dick Enberg.
Now that you have a condensed history of Super Bowl Broadcasting History, use some
of the facts you learned to impress some friends or family while you are enjoying the Big
Game on February 6th!