Super Bowl: Temperatures in the 40s, Shares in the 90s

It’s not like the New York area needs more people or anything, but the Seattle and Denver stations are sending armies of reporting crews this way to cover the Super Bowl—and the two weeks of hype leading up to it. KDVR Denver has sent 21 people to New York. KUSA Denver has sent 21 as well, to fill out five primetime specials and lots and lots of coverage in the news.

KUSA, an NBC affiliate, is extending its brand in a unique way: with car window “clingy things”—those sun-blocking screens you affix to the glass, branded with team sponsors that include “9 News”. Mark Cornetta, KUSA president and general manager, says they’ve given out around 140,000 of them. “Fans were lining up an hour, or more, before we gave them out,” he says.

Peter Maroney, VP and general manager of KDVR, envisions a share of 90 or more for the big game, with a shocking 60-70 rating. “It will be a huge number—a number I’ve never had before,” he says. (Maroney says Joe Montana and the Niners came close to that back when he was news director at KPIX.)

The station has been doing 6 p.m. half hour specials all week.

Up Seattle way, KING, an NBC affiliate, has sent a “boatload of people,” says Ray Heacox, president and GM. The biggest angle is the rabid fandom of Seattle, the so-called “12th man.” “We’re heavily focusing on the fans,” he says.

While the post-game antics of Seahawks DB Richard Sherman has swayed some heretofore impartial fans toward the Broncos, Heacox says that sort of character—“loud but smart”—plays well in the Pacific Northwest. “People here like you to be different, but at the same time, smart and straightforward,” he says.

Even if they can’t send bodies to Jersey, the Bowl is a massive story in the secondary Colorado and Washington markets. Doug Holroyd, general manager at KAYU Spokane, envisions a share in the 70s or even 80s. “Up here, there’s no basketball, no second football team and in the Mariners you have one of the best minor league teams in the business,” he quips. “The entire state is wrapped up around the football team.”

Same goes for Grand Junction, Colo., which is much closer to the Utah border than to Denver. Randy Stone, KREX-KFQX GM, says a prediction of a 75 share is conservative. He says the Olympics is awesome big-tent programming spread over a few weeks, while the Super Bowl is awesome big-tent programming tucked into one big, beautiful, bizarre night. “One place, one time, good bye,” he says. “It’s gonna be a great Sunday, I can’t wait. Go Broncos!”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.