Let’s face it, the Super Bowl dominates everything it touches. Cases in point, the SB’s TV audience (is well over 100M, now) and its ad costs ($5M for 30 secs) must be made from the same fabric as the Star Wars’ box office and mdse are. As for counter programming, last year the LA Times published 8 counterprogramming options including the Puppy Bowl, the Kitten Bowl, the Toddler Bowl (1-3 year olds show what their tiny muscles can do) and various marathons of popular TV shows. Undauntedly, YouTube also hosted its own ½ time show to draw viewers from Katy Perry’s ½ time show during SB 49. (Will Cold Play be Youtube’s object in 2016?)

The 1 st major SB counterprogramming success was in 1992. FOX TV aired a special Living Color during the SB’s ½ time. The most successful pay per view ½ time show was the Lingerie Bowl in 1994. For audience size Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowls” are unbeatable with a 30 sec ad being sold in 2015 for $100,000 (with 24 M viewing it for at least 1 min).

Beyond the counter programming it’s also the case that TV shows try to piggyback the SB’s massive audience after the post game “wrap up”. (See Table 1 above.) The highest rated after SB show was an episode of Friends (1996) appropriately titled “The One after the SB.” It drew 52.9M viewers while the earlier aired SB XXX had #s at 94 M. (Both Friends & SB XXX of course were NBC properties.) After SB 50 CBS’ honor will go to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The Late Show however, ONLY airs M-F with its SB Sun show being an exception. Yes, programming b-4 & after the SB is exceptional & S-U-P-E-R!

Table 1 reveals the extraordinary fact that after an afternoon & night of eating, drinking and Super Bowling that we “stick around” for more TV with an audience (on avg) that is 136%+ greater than the show’s usual audience. In our 25 yr study, 13 of our 21 (62%) after programs had more than doubled their usual audience size by simply being the SB’s after game program. The biggest HALOS being worn belong to Fox’s “New Girl” program (aired directly after SB 2014) with an incredible growth of 470%± (albeit from the smallest avg programming base of 4.6 M viewers) and #2 to “3 rd Rock from the Sun”, the after SB 1998 program which increased 380%±. (There were some small increments too within our 25 yr study. ABC’s The Practice after SB 2000 had the smallest increment [ONLY 30%] with CBS’s after SB show in 2004, Survivor: All Stars having the 2nd smallest increment of almost 46%. Small by our Table’s #s, but still a very substantial increase).

Lastly, let’s view Table 2 with much less history (4 yrs of data). History or not the program AFTER the after program has avged an amazing growth of 162% per yr (over its avg audience size). How the heck is anybody “alive” much less awake at that time? Does the SB impact the size of post SB programs? THE DATA SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

For those interested, since 1967 the program that has made the most after (the SB) appearances is 60 Minutes with 4. Then comes Lassie with 3 shows.

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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