It’s now become expected that each Super Bowl will break the previous year’s record to become the most-watched event in television history. So whenever a Super Bowl doesn’t do that (as was the case when CBS had the show in 2013) it’s often seen as a letdown. That means the pressure is on NBC as it prepares for this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 1. As I wrote at Adweek,
“There would be huge disappointment if we weren’t the most watched show in the history of television after Super Bowl Sunday,” Fred Gaudelli, the coordinating producer for Super Bowl XLIX and Sunday Night Football, admitted to Adweek. “I don’t know that I’d say I feel the pressure of it, but that’s definitely my expectation, that after the game, that it will be the most watched show in the history of television. So it would be a huge disappointment if it wasn’t.”
Gaudelli is hoping for an audience of between 115 million and 120 million, so keep that in mind on Feb. 2 when the ratings come out.
Al Michaels, who will be calling his ninth Super Bowl game, talked at winter press tour about how the NFL has overcome the rocky start to its season, and recalled how much the sport has changed since Super Bowl I — which he was at — was played in front of 35,000 empty seats. Back then, “nobody had any idea that this would evolve into what it’s become,” said Michaels. Now, “it’s an undeclared national holiday. What else is somebody going to do on that particular day?”