SBJ/20090126/Super Bowl XLIII

42 Years of Super Bowl Sundays

XLII - The game is shown in 223 countries and territories in 30 languages. With a worldwide audience of 148.3 million viewers, it’s the most-watched TV program ever.

XLI - The world feed of the Super Bowl is provided in high definition for the first time.

XL - ABC, part of the Super Bowl rotation since 1985, airs its seventh and final title game. The Disney-owned network is shifting its NFL coverage to ESPN with its new TV deal.

XXXIX- Jim Steeg produces his last Super Bowl for the NFL after more than a quarter-century of such work for the league. Frank Supovitz succeeds him.

XXXVIII - The FCC issues a $550,000 fine against CBS television stations for broadcasting Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the halftime show. The fine is thrown out on appeal in July 2008.

XXXVII- Reebok introduces its ad campaign featuring Terry Tate, office linebacker, running through a workplace tackling slack employees.

XXXVI - The Super Bowl is played in February for the first time, a result of the regular season being suspended in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

XXXV- The NFL and NFL Films introduce the first fully produced world feed of the Super Bowl.

XXXIV - 17 dot-com companies buy Super Bowl ads, including, and Nielsen/NetRatings reports that the buyers see an average 16% increase in unique visitors to their sites from Super Bowl Sunday to the next day.

XXXIII - A Budweiser ad featuring two Dalmatians separated at birth starts a 10-year run for Anheuser-Busch atop USA Today’s annual Super Bowl Ad Meter.

XXXII- NBC’s game broadcast is the network’s last NFL broadcast until a new deal is signed prior to the 2006 season. “We want to thank you,” Dick Enberg tells viewers as the network signs off.

XXXI - The first Super Bowl broadcast by Fox is seen in 42 million homes.

XXX - At the conclusion of the halftime show, singer Diana Ross departs from the field in a helicopter.

XXIX- The game broadcast by ABC sees ad rates of more than $1 million per 30-second commercial for the first time.

XXVIII - NBC becomes the first network to air consecutive Super Bowls outright.

XXVII- The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., hosts the Super Bowl for a fifth time. The game has not returned to the Los Angeles area since.

XXVI - The league’s NFL Experience interactive area debuts.

XXV - ABC’s coverage of the halftime show featuring New Kids on the Block is pre-empted for coverage of the Gulf War. The network airs the show after the game instead.

XXIV - San Francisco 55, Denver 10 … and the only Super Bowl since Super Bowl V to earn less than a 40.0 household rating.

XXIII - Anheuser-Busch airs six 30-second spots to promote the first Bud Bowl.

XXII - Doug Williams becomes the first African-American to play quarterback in the Super Bowl.

XXI - The game is watched live or on tape in 55 foreign countries, and NBC Radio’s broadcast is heard by a then-record 10.1 million people.

XX - NBC’s telecast replaces the final episode of M*A*S*H as the most-viewed program in history, with a worldwide audience of 127 million viewers.

XIX - President Reagan takes his second oath of office before tossing the coin via satellite from the White House.

XVIII - The Super Bowl ad game changes forever. With ‘1984,’ Apple introduces the Macintosh and gives viewers a spot later named commercial of the decade for the 1980s by Advertising Age.

XVII - The Super Bowl caps a postseason that saw the NFL adopt a format of 16 teams because of the players’ strike that reduced the regular season to nine games. Eight teams from each conference are seeded 1-8 based on their regular-season records.

XVI - The first Super Bowl to be played in the North (Pontiac, Mich.) also becomes the highest-rated game, with a 49.1 rating.

XV- The Oakland Raiders become the first wild-card team to win a Super Bowl.

XIV - “Hey, kid.” With those words, Pittsburgh lineman “Mean” Joe Greene  tosses his jersey to a wide-eyed fan, and Coca-Cola  makes its “Coke Adds Life” pitch to viewers.

XIII - The Super Bowl ends the first regular season that had 16 games, up from 14, and a postseason that expanded from two rounds to three for each conference.

XII - The first game held indoors (Louisiana Superdome) also becomes the first Super Bowl to draw more than 100 million viewers on TV.

XI - The Disney-produced halftime show features the cast members of the New Mickey Mouse Club and is the first Super Bowl halftime show to include crowd participation, with fans waving colored placards on cue.

X - The Dallas Cowboys become the first wild-card team to play in the Super Bowl.

IX - The game originally scheduled for the new Louisiana Superdome is played at a rainy Tulane Stadium due to unfinished construction at the new facility.

VIII - The Super Bowl is played for the first time in a stadium that is not home to an NFL or AFL team (Rice Stadium in Houston).

VII - The Miami Dolphins complete a perfect, 17-0 season.

VI - Although Tulane Stadium is sold out for the game, CBS’s live telecast is not shown in the New Orleans area because of NFL blackout rules in place at the time. This is the last Super Bowl to be blacked out in the TV market in which the game was played.

V - The Super Bowl Trophy is renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

IV - Four-year television contracts are awarded to CBS (NFC games) and NBC (AFC games), except for Monday night games, with the two dividing rights to the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl games.

III - The term “Super Bowl” is recognized by the NFL for the first time, after the first two championship games were known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt coined the term.

II - The game earns the first $3 million gate in pro football history.

I- The league championship game airs on both CBS and NBC to a combined 22.5 million homes.

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