A Super numbers game: XLVII facts about Sunday’s live coverage


Here are XLVII facts about Sunday’s live coverage.

Notes from a Super Bowl playbook:

I The game has set the record for most-watched show in U.S. television history in each of the last three years.

II The number CBS needs the Ravens-49ers to top Sunday is 111.3 million scored by Giants-Patriots last year.

III That may be difficult to achieve given that Joe Flacco vs. Colin Kaepernick hardly has the star power flashed by Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning last year.

IV There really isn’t much glitz up and down both offenses, which usually draws casual fans.

V San Francisco-Oakland is the nation’s sixth-largest TV market, just behind NFL markets Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.

VI Baltimore is No. 27.

VII Smaller than Baltimore among NFL cities are San Diego (28), Nashville (29), Kansas City (31), Cincinnati (35), Jacksonville (50), New Orleans (51), Buffalo (52) and Green Bay (69).

VIII Still, it’s the Super Bowl and there is always a chance at a viewership record. “All we need for Sunday is a close game,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said via conference call. “…If we don’t set a record, I will be disappointed but life goes on.”

IX Advertisers are betting you’ll be watching. The 30-second commercial spots have sold for an average of $3.8 million each, with some going for as much as a record $4 million.

X Director Mike Arnold, who calls all the live camera shots, said a successful Super Bowl broadcast is one that isn’t the subject of Monday morning quarterbacking. “We don’t want people saying, ‘Boy, I wish I would have seen this,’ or, ‘Why didn’t we see that?’.”

XI Arnold will have 62 cameras at his disposal.

XII A regular-season game on CBS may have as few as nine and as many as a dozen cameras.

XIII CBS used 33 cameras for the Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship game.

XIV Producer Lance Barrow, who is in charge of the overall game production, is responsible for replays.

XV The latest gizmo at Barrow’s disposal is a “Heyeper Zoom” camera system, a new technology that produces the absolute slowest motion with higher resolution than standard replays.

XVI That makes Barrow as crucial to the game as any on-field official working on the field.

XVII Barrow got his Super Bowl start at CBS in 1978 as a spotter for Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier during the Cowboys’ victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII.

XVIII The halftime show at the Superdome that day was “From Paris to the Paris of America,” featuring the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles, Al Hirt and Pete Fountain.

XIX The TV audience was 78.9 million.

XX Beyonce, from Houston, will perform during Sunday’s halftime.

XXI Jim Nantz will call play-by-play in his third Super Bowl.

XXII Phil Simms, the analyst, will be working his seventh, which ranks behind only John Madden’s 11 in the booth.

XXIII Madden’s first Super Bowl was in 1980, when he worked in the CBS studio.

XXIV His studio mates that day were Brent Musburger, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder and George Allen.

XXV Simms’ first in the booth was for NBC in 1996 when he worked the Cowboys’ 27-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

XXVI Diana Ross starred in that halftime show.

XXVII The lone Cowboys feature during pregame programming Sunday comes on Simms’ “All-Iron” show from noon to 1 p.m. Leon Lett and Don Beebe will make their first joint television appearance since Super Bowl XXVII.

XXVIII If you are too young to recall, let’s just say Beebe forced an embarrassing, but ultimately meaningless, goal-line fumble by the Cowboys defensive lineman.

XXIX Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason will be on the call for the Dial Global radio network.

XXX Esiason will scramble over from the CBS pregame set.

XXXI You remember Esiason. He was the first on air to take the Cowboys to task for allowing Josh Brent on their sideline against the Steelers after the death of Jerry Brown.

XXXII Harlan is best known for calling NBA games for TNT while broadcasting in two styles: louder and loudest.

XXXIII If you think no one listens, think again. Last year’s game drew a U.S. radio audience of 23.1 million.

XXXIV The game will be carried on more than 700 radio stations from coast to coast.

XXXV The CBS pregame show runs a relatively modest four hours, beginning at 11 a.m. Pacific.

XXXVI Packers linebacker Clay Matthews joins the pregame as the designated current player brought in to lend insight.

XXXVII Yes, the pregame will offer up predictable features on the coaching Harbaugh brothers as well as Ray Lewis and both quarterbacks. Best of the features could be “Player Safety and the Future of the Game.”

XXXVIII There’s a live, 15-minute Scott Pelley interview with President Barack Obama in the White House scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

XXXIX There will be no mention in the pregame of this week’s revelation that stalwart family man and long-time analyst Dan Marino fathered a child out of wedlock with a fellow CBS employee in 2005.

XL Of course, CBS will offer three hours of pre-pregame programming.

XLI There’s NFL Films’ “Road to the Super Bowl” at 8 a.m., Wynton Marsalis on his hometown of New Orleans at 9 a.m. and Simms’ All-Iron effort at 10 a.m.

XLII Did we mention that CBS will have cameras dedicated to each Harbaugh brother on the sideline?

XLIII Then again, it’s not unusual for networks to pay attention to coaches.

XLIV Simms says he will offer up fresh Harbaugh brothers’ stories from personal experiences.

XLV Meanwhile Nantz said he is looking more toward a postgame moment than any during the game.

XLVI “When those two coaches meet at midfield,” he said. “How much joy? How much despair? How will they balance that? … One a winner, one a loser with the biggest stakes in the sport and it has all just been settled. Looking into their eyes, what are we going to see?”

XLVII If that’s enough to entice 111.3 million plus one to watch the game, CBS will be ecstatic.