With the Peacock presenting the Big Game, it's no surprise that NBCUniversal's game plan for backing Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis mirrors the New York Giants' "All In" motto, reaching across an array of assets.
And why not. NBC, in its first Super Bowl under Comcast's watch, is said to be pulling in a record average of $3.5 million per :30-second spot for the Feb. 5 telecast, while it sits on what could be the largest audience in U.S. TV history. The Green Bay Packers' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in last year's title tilt averaged 111 million viewers.
Leading the promotional pack is national cable service, NBC Sports Network, nee Versus, which will provide more than 18 hours of live coverage from Indy through daily editions, beginning on Jan. 30, of NBC Sports Talk: Live from the Super Bowl. Host Russ Thaler will be joined by an array of NBC talent, guests and gridiron experts all weighing in on what will unfold between the Giants and the New England Patriots in their rematch of Super Bowl XLII.
The coverage will also play home to NBC Sports Network's inaugural show with the Emmy-winning Bob Costas, Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl, airing on Feb. from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell will also tape his Sports Biz: Game On series for the network from Indianapolis on the Friday before the game
For the first time, Jimmy Fallon's show will hit the road, hosting four editions from the host city, including the first-ever presentation of Live Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Sunday night/early Monday morning after the game.
Golf Channel is on course with a "David Feherty Live" stage show in Indianapolis on Friday night, followed by a one-hour special airing at 10 p.m. on the eve of the NFL championship contest.
Weather Channel's Jim Cantore will be on scene with team NBC's Super Bowl coverage,and Wake Up with Al's Stephanie Abrams and Al Roker will also be on-site. E!
Talent and crews from "Today," "Access Hollywood," "E! News," and Style are gathering on site in Indianapolis
For their part, Bravo's Top Chef host Tom Colicchio and former contestants, Richard Blais and Antonia Lofaso, will compete to create the perfect tailgate food. Football Night in America's Tony Dungy and Rodney Hampton will determine the winner on NBC's Super Bowl XLVI Pre-Game Show.
Style will feature a pre-game Super Bowl party-planning segment with Bill and Giuliana Rancic, and the network will offer party tips throughout the week. The segments will culminate in a Super Bowl Party reveal with Bill and Giuliana during the pre-game program.
While these and many other NBCU properties are also in play to support the contest, NBCU president of research and media development Alan Wurtzel last week wasn't handicapping whether the audience for Super Bowl XLVI would exceed the record 111 million who watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in last year's game.
Others, though, feel a combination of factors, including the participating teams hailing from DMAs No. 1 and No. 7, could tip the Nielsens in NBC's favor.
"The last three times these teams played the largest margin of victory has been four points [the Nov. 6 regular-season matchup, Giants' 24-20],"said Horizon Media senior vice president, director of research Brad Adgate. "It hasn't been a bad winter, but inclement weather wouldn't hurt and if it's another down-to-the wire Super Bowl, perhaps OT, I wouldn't be surprised if it hit 115 million."
Given the massive audience and the game's place in the popular culture, it's not surprised that others are tying themselves to the event. Aerosmith front man and American Idol judge Steven Tyler will team with country star and American Idol 2005 winner Carrie Underwood as the latest cross-genre duo on CMT Crossroads, the night before Super Bowl XLVI. They will perform at a private concert at Pepsi Coliseum at the Indiana State Fair Grounds as part of the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam, with the show airing on CMT at 11 p.m. (ET)/10 p.m. (CT) on Feb. 4.
History will make some marketing history of its own with its first national Super Bowl ad. Produced in-house, the 30-second national spot, running in the fourth quarter, will put the spotlight on the network, as well as the upcoming third season of reality series Swamp People, which debuts on Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. (ET). In "This is Your Boss," History takes viewers into the heart of the Atchafalaya Swamp deep -- for a swamp's eye view, if you will, of "just another day at the office." It's a "no guts, no gator" environment, where this boss sports a very large set of teeth and isn't accustomed to taking no for an answer.
"This is a great moment for History" said network president and general manager Nancy Dubuc. "We are currently one of the top brands in the media landscape and the number two network for men, and Swamp People is one of our most successful shows - season two averaged 4.1 million total viewers, which was a 32% increase over season one. This is a great way for Americans to get back into the 'Swamp' of things prior to the new season!"
Considering its home field advantage of sorts, NFL Media will have a 30-second spot and a pair of :10s in the game. For its part, NFL Network has 100 hours of Super Bowl-related fare in its huddle, while ESPN plans expansive coverage with a presence in downtown Indy near Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of the Big Game.
Bright House Networks, the hometown cable operator, is supplying 55 high-speed and 25 high-definition connections to 12 different companies that have business around Super Bowl XVLI, including ESPN and Dick Clark Productions, and such entertainment entities as the Bud Lite Hotel, The Huddle and the night club, Blu. In addition to having signage at some of these venues, Bright House's technical support staff will be at the ready to make sure things go smoothly.
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