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CBS, Riding NFL Ratings Surge, Lays Out Super Bowl 50 Plans

After noting its weekly average of 19.3 million viewers is at a 29-year high for NFL broadcasts, CBS also announced an ambitious synergistic slate of activities during the leadup to Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

Viewers continue to flock to football, even the talking-about-football before the actual football. The NFL Today, CBS’ pregame show, is averaging 4 million weekly viewers, up 5% from last year and the highest mid-December level since the network regained football rights in 1998.

Seizing on that seemingly bottomless appetite for pigskin, CBS has set sweeping plans to leverage nine divisions across broadcast, cable, syndication, local, digital and radio before, during and after the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.

Starting Monday, Feb. 1, week-long, 24/7 coverage will originate from San Francisco, wrapping up on the night of the big game with special (New York and Los Angeles) editions of Stephen Colbert and James Corden’s respective late-night shows. CBS News will also deliver coverage through the week, as will programs across CBS Sports Network, CBS Radio, Showtime, local affiliates via San Francisco’s KPIX-TV and Entertainment Tonight.

CBS execs have already projected a ratings and ad-revenue bonanza. Sports chief Sean McManus told B&C last month, “I think it’s going to be one of the, if not the, biggest day in the history of the NFL and CBS, from a revenue and branding standpoint."