This Sunday, the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will battle in the 50th Super Bowl. In wedding terms, it’s the “Golden Anniversary.”
How appropriate, because the NFL’s championship game has exploded into a larger-than-life international event — and a bottomless stream of gold for the league and its owners, players and broadcast partners.
For the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967 (which was actually called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game before the two leagues merged), 30-second ads cost $42,000.
This year, 30-second spots are going for $5 million.
BIGGER AUDIENCE THAN EVER
What’s bringing in the big bucks? It’s simple: the audience is massive.
Last season’s Super Bowl was watched by a record 114.4 million viewers — the largest television audience in United States history. (Fifty years ago, the game was broadcast live simultaneously on NBC and CBS and watched by about 50 million fans.)
THE ROLE OF STREAMING
As more fans move to steam the games live on their computers, tablets and smartphones, the numbers will only continue to soar.
Streamed on CBS.com via the NFL mobile app (for Verizon Wireless customers).
Televised on CBS and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
Available on the CBS Sports Channel/App on Roku, AppleTV, XBOX One, Windows 10, and Chromecast.
PAYDAY FOR PLAYERS
The Super Bowl payday for players has ballooned as well.
The winner’s share half-a-century ago was $15,000 per player; the losers received $7,500 each. On Sunday, each player on the winning roster will take home $97,000, while the losers’ share is $49,000 per player.