Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NFLN to "re-broadcast" Super Bowl 1 on Jan 15

<UPDATED 1/10/2016 - A story in the NY Times confirms that this "re-broadcast" will consist of NFL Films footage and the original radio call rather than the discovered tape of the original CBS telecast.>

According to online listings, NFL Network plans to "re-broadcast" the original Super Bowl on Friday 1/15 at 8pm ET. While I have seen no press release providing any details, here is the entry on the NFLN online schedule for this 2-hour program:

"Super Bowl I Re-Broadcast Event" - NFL Films presents the first ever re-broadcast of Super Bowl I on the 50th Anniversary of the game. Featuring special guests and never before seen footage, see the game that started it all when the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL squared off against the Green Bay Packers of the NFL.

while the DirecTV program guide describes it as follows:

Super Bowl I - The Lost Game

The re-broadcast of the game that started it all on the 50th Anniversary of the game featuring Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL against the Green Bay Packers of the NFL.

Both listings incorrectly call this the "50th anniversary". 2016 actually marks the 49th anniversary of the January 15, 1967 game.

The use of the terms "re-broadcast" and "Lost Game" along with the claim of "never before seen footage" suggest that this airing might include (at least in part) the discovered tape of the original CBS telecast which was restored by the Paley Center, but which has never been available to the public. If that is indeed the case, this should be an awesome presentation, but I have seen nothing to confirm this. On the other hand, the reference to NFL Films might mean that this production will be similar to what ESPN did for the 1958 NFL Championship game back in 2008 where they intermixed film footage with modern interviews and essentially created a simulated re-broadcast.

Either way, I am surprised to see this program show up on the various guides without any press release from NFL Network. Another oddity is that as of last night, these schedules were listing this program as lasting 3 hours instead of 2.


  1. Whoever found the tape, at last report, was holding out for millions from the League. While I respect ones property, I should think the League would be able to broadcast the footage as they see fit without compensation, as they actually "own" the rights

    1. Matt,

      Not sure at all that this is correct, but I heard it once explained thus: the NFL does, indeed, own the rights to broadcast and rebroadcast the tape. However, they do not own the property (i.e. the tape) itself. Ergo, the owner of the tape has it but can't do anything with it (since putting it on DVD and having someone purchase it would constitute a "rebroadcast"), while the NFL can do something with it, but doesn't have it. If this is accurate, it's a kind of Catch-22, don't you think?

  2. It would be nice to see the game sold on DVD.

  3. On the NFL Network do they broadcast the whole game on the NFL Network like the starting line ups and the national anthem since I never had seen the Super Bowls on the NFL Network at all. Just wondering out of curousity! Thank you!

  4. On one of ESPNs' Anniversary Shows in the 90s they featured a behind the scenes look at the CBS-NBC broadcasts. Over the shoulder of two of the interviewees, there is video tape footage of the game featuring Jim Taylor and I think Willie Wood. Given the low key rollout of this program, I'm thinking the price demanded by the owner of the tape was not met.

  5. Tried to watch it but couldn't. I tuned in to watch the game and not listen to stupid comments the whole time. Completely ruined the experience. 7 commentators sat and wrecked it. SHUT UP and let us enjoy it.

  6. The second broadcast was better, but it's just slow motion NFL Films footage. Like watching a big highlight real. Goodell, get off your butt, pay this guy the $1 million he's asking for the original restored broadcast, and release it and make $25 million in sales. Its a no brainer. But brains are what Goodell kind of lacks isn't it?