Fox Sports executives are excited about the prospects of a huge rating for Sunday night's Super Bowl XLII as the New England Patriots go for an unprecedented 19-0 record against the surprising New York Giants.
The telecast should break the Super Bowl viewership record of 143.6 million set in 2004 for the Patriots' 24-21 victory over Philadelpha. However, it won't come close to setting the ratings record of 49.1 for Super Bowl XVI (San Francisco's 26-21 victory over Cincinnati) as ratings have declined in recent years due to more numerous channel choices. Viewers will be bombardered with hype during a four-hour pregame show (1-5 p.m.) — including "American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest's celebrity interviews — but they should be treated to a solid broadcast with the low-key crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman who will be calling their second Super Bowl. Pam Oliver and Chris Myers will be the sideline reporters. Buck said the broadcasters will try to avoid the temptation of inundating viewers with too much information. "We're just going to try to keep doing what we've been doing and not try to overdo it all,” Buck said. "You have to cover it just like it's a regular game, and the quicker you get into that mode, the better off we'll all be.” Buck said the broadcasters will attempt to reach a balance in reaching viewers who rarely, if ever, watch a football game and hardcore fans who don't miss a telecast.
Super Bowl notes•Buck and Aikman will have called all four of the Giants' postseason games, a record for a broadcast team. •Aikman and Myers will host a half-hour special at noon, "Inside the Rings with Troy Aikman.” They will look at several former Super Bowl quarterbacks, including John Elway, Kurt Warner and Doug Williams. •In the last Super Bowl played in Arizona in 1996, Aikman led the Cowboys to a 27-17 victory over Pittsburgh, his third Super Bowl title. •The Sports Animal Radio Network will carry Westwood One's game broadcast.
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