Super Bowl MVPs Aaron Rodgers, Hines Ward To Join NBC's SB Pregame Show
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Steelers WR Hines Ward, two former Super Bowl MVPs, will appear on NBC's Super Bowl XLVI pregame show. They will serve as guest analysts during the net's six hours of pregame coverage (THE DAILY). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes Sunday's pregame show, which will "include an interview with halftime singer Madonna, will follow the usual formula of getting less fluffy and more football-oriented as it gets closer to kickoff." But what "amounts to pregame programming, such as NBCSN's 'Turning Point' show ... begins days before game day." NBC's Bob Costas said, "Our job is to present fresh and engaging material that people haven't been beaten over the head with for two weeks" (USA TODAY, 2/1). In Salt Lake City, Scott Pierce reports Costas "admitted he won't be interested in all the entertainment aspects" of the pregame show. However, he said there will be elements that "will be of interest to both avid football fans and the casual viewers who fill out the audience." Costas: "There has to be a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek and there has to be a little bit of winking at the audience. The entire six hours will not be, from my perspective, a 10-out-of-10 in terms of what I would be interested in. But some of it may be to someone else. That’s just the way it goes down. You try to do as professional job as you can” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 2/1).
ONLINE STREAMING: The AP's Anick Jesdanun noted he had the chance to test NBC's live online streaming of games and wrote, "I have found the experience decent so far, but no substitute for the big screen." The video quality was "adequate over a cellular connection." Some of the players "looked more like video game characters than real people." Video on the phone "lagged the TV broadcast by about 30 seconds," and online video "lagged the TV broadcast by a full minute." Jesdanun noted Verizon will "block the video in and around the stadium to avoid overrunning its network" (AP, 1/31).
PIONEER DAYS: NFL Network’s Rich Eisen appeared on NBC’s “Last Call With Carson Daly” last night, and Eisen said, “I was here from day one and it was an honor then, just as it is now. The league has gotten bigger and bigger, and thank goodness we're in more homes, and more and more scrutiny is upon us.” Eisen said of the Super Bowl ratings growing every year, “In this world of reality television, there's no greater reality than live sports. And there's no greater live sport right now than the NFL. It's a perfect convergence of the gladiator nature that everybody in America loves to see on display" (“Last Call With Carson Daly,” NBC, 2/1).