Tom: It’s Superbowl Sunday, Tim.
Tim: Ooh, and you like American Football. Educate me, whilst I take a seat.
Tom: Last year’s Superbowl was the most watched television event in American history, as somewhere in the region of a hundred million people saw the underdog New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. Now how do you open a show like that?
The advertisers are going to want something spectacular – after all, they’re paying somewhere around five million dollars per minute of commercial time. And the viewers are going to want something that beats previous years. In 2006, for example, Billy Joel sang the American national anthem, interspersed with live footage of American troops watching in Baghdad and a camera feed from the cockpit of one of the military jets that fly over the stadium exactly at the song’s conclusion. That’s how you open a damn show. (Ignore the autotune – nobody told Billy Joel they were going to use it.)
So what does CBS, last year’s broadcaster, do?
Tim: Something quite big?
Tom: Well, they get Jay-Z and Rihanna, pretty much the biggest names in music. And then they get ES Posthumus, who write incredible, overblown electric-guitar-and-orchestra themes. And then they mash them together.
Tom: The final released version of this was “clean”, but for the sheer spectacle I’ve linked to the broadcast version. This is how you get a hundred million people hyped up for a game. If your jaw didn’t drop at that incredible slow-motion jump near the end, then I think there might be something wrong with you.
I just worry that ITV will try and do something like this for the FA Cup Final one year. They’d use Dizzee Rascal. It just wouldn’t be the same. It’s not British at all, and – just this once – that’s what’s so great about it.
And as for this year? It’s the Fox network’s turn to broadcast it, so I’m assuming it’ll be something suitably over-the-top. And hopefully, the Packers will take the trophy as well.
Tim: Well in that case… go Packers?