Game On! NBCU to Smother Super Bowl

By Chris Ariens 

It’s more than just a game… it’s an opportunity to absolutely blanket TV viewers with the spoils of your consolidated company. Call it Super Bowl everywhere.

NBC TV may have the rights to Super Bowl XLVI, but if you turn on just about any NBCU channel or watch any NBC-produced program you will see Super Bowl-themed programming next week.

NBC, CNBC, Golf Channel, Bravo, Weather Channel, E!, Telemundo, and G4 will all be taking part. The newly named NBC Sports Network (formerly OLN, formerly Versus) will air more than 18 hours of live programming ahead of the game.

The “Today” show starts next Friday, a split show with Al Roker and Ann Curry from Pan Am plaza in downtown Indianapolis. Jenna Wolfe is there for Saturday “Today.” And Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie will join coverage Sunday morning. It hasn’t been announced yet, but Matt Lauer will likely get a pre-game interview with Pres. Obama at the White House, which has become an annual event.

Absent from NBC’s listings is “Meet the Press.” The last two years, when the game was on FOX and CBS, “Fox News Sunday” and “Face the Nation” originated from Cowboys Stadium and Sun Life stadium, respectively.

And there’s more…

CNBC’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell will report from Indianapolis. Bravo’s Top Chef Tom Colicchio will be there, so will E! correspondents Catt Sadler and David Burtka, the Golf Channel will originate its morning show “Morning Drive” featuring NFL guests. The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams will be in Indy, a cold weather city with a domed Lucas Oil stadium. Also “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” will produce four shows from Indianapolis next week, including a live show after the late local news Sunday night. Interesting that it is Fallon and not Jay Leno doing a post-Super Bowl show.

Also “Access Hollywood,” Style, and iVillage — featuring videos and profiles of NFL wives — will all participate.

And for your viewing pleasure, here’s the open of Super Bowl XIX – from 1985, a game called by Frank Gifford. This was about the time he got together with Kathie Lee Johnson, now Kathie Lee Gifford, who, as a part of the NBC family, will also be taking part in Super Bowl week  on the fourth hour of “Today.”

And 10 years later, here’s Kathie Lee singing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXIX: