SBD/Issue 91/Sports Media

MTV Finds Way Into Super Bowl Halftime With MTV2 Relaunch

MTV, which produced last year’s controversial Super Bowl halftime show, will air a preview of the new look for its sister station, MTV2, during halftime of Fox’ broadcast of this year’s Super Bowl, according to the AP. The new format will launch at midnight on Super Bowl Sunday. MTV Networks Group President Van Toffler: “Our audience is looking for an alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show and we felt that the new MTV2 fit the bill perfectly” (AP, 1/31).

FORE-SHADOWING: On Long Island, Steve Zipay notes Fox, as part of its Super Bowl pregame coverage, will host a live hole-in-one contest for charity at the par-three 17th hole at TPC at Sawgrass. The contest will consist of three teams captained by a PGA Tour player with participants from the NFL, NASCAR and MLB — “all of which are televised by Fox.” Sources said that Fox “has ulterior motives. The free promotion gives some leverage to Fox, which is eyeing a possible TV partnership with the PGA [Tour] when its $850[M] broadcast and cable deals end next year.” In addition to Fox, FSN “might want to swipe USA Network’s 33 events” on cable (NEWSDAY, 2/1).

SWEEPING UP: Fox after the Super Bowl broadcast will air a special episode of “The Simpsons,” featuring Homer attempting to plan a Super Bowl halftime show. A number of athletes guest star. After “The Simpsons,” Fox will air a sneak preview of its upcoming animated series “American Dad.” SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Don Muret reports Alltel Stadium concessionaires Levy Restaurants and Centerplate will distribute 30,000 trays promoting “The Simpsons” and 60,000 drink cups featuring characters from “American Dad” during the game. Centerplate VP/Catering John Vingas: “This is Fox thinking way outside the box.” Fox did a similar promotion for “Family Guy” during Super Bowl XXXIII at Dolphins Stadium (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/31 issue)....USA TODAY’s Gary Levin writes TV’s February sweeps race “is over before it even begins. ... Teamed with ‘24’ and red-hot ‘American Idol,’ the Super Bowl guarantees Fox a first-place finish” (USA TODAY, 2/1).

Fox Thinking Outside-The-Box With Concession Tray Sponsorship

KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE: In Florida, Jeff Elliot noted that instead of returning home immediately, some of Fox’ 400 Super Bowl crew members will travel to Daytona Beach after the game to prepare for the February 20 Daytona 500. Fox Sports President Ed Goren and Fox execs will meet with NASCAR officials today in Jacksonville to “finalize TV coverage plans for the prerace shows and the actual race” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/31).

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