SBD/February 11, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: A Wild Super Bowl Week In North Texas

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here is a special Super Bowl XLV theme for this week's newsmakers:

WIN: FOX -- Another year, another record-setting Super Bowl telecast in the books. Fox averages 111 million viewers for this year's game, the best TV audience ever and fourth-straight Super Bowl audience record. While the size of the U.S. TV audience has increased alongside population growth over the years, the game still earns a stout 46.0 rating; only eight other Super Bowl telecasts have earned a higher figure. Football fans also tuned in for Fox' pregame coverage this year, with 22.2 million viewers marking the most-viewed Super Bowl pregame show in nine years. In addition, the network scores in the ad revenue department, taking in around $300M from the Super Bowl's in-game spots.

LOSE: NFL -- Not the best week for a league that usually executes its events flawlessly. The karma was off in Dallas, maybe thrown askew by the terrible weather, and nothing seemed to click in Big D. While trouble getting around the spread out area was pervasive throughout the week, the capstone was Sunday, with long lines and long lines to enter Cowboys Stadium followed by a seating debacle that the league had advance knowledge of but couldn’t resolve. Instead of post-Super Bowl focus on a great game and record TV audience, the NFL's drastic damage control dominates the headlines.

DRAW: HALFTIME SHOW -- You have to give the NFL credit for making the effort to put "hip" back in the halftime show after years of taking heat for older acts. Many pundits felt the Black Eyed Peas were entertaining, while others felt USHER, who made a cameo on stage, should have been the headline act. The truth of the matter is that it is impossibly difficult to program content to an audience of over 100 million people. Nonetheless, this year's halftime show was the most-viewed since '93, so the decision to go younger did pay dividends.

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