NBCUniversal Forces Unite for Super Bowl Week in Indy

NBCUniversal is taking the synergy concept to new heights leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, delivering a wide range of shoulder programming across its vast array of networks all week long, including 18 hours of live Super Bowl programming on NBC Sports Network and a variety of NFL content on Golf Channel. NBC will take over at noon ET on Sunday with the Super Bowl XLVI Pre-Game Show leading into the 6:30 kickoff.

“This is going to be a successful day for us from noon ET on,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said during a Tuesday press conference in Indianapolis. “On an ad-sales front, we’re already in fine shape. We’ve sold out all of the ancillary programming. We have sold out a lot of sponsors for the early portions of the pregame show.”

Covering its first Super Bowl since being acquired by Comcast in January 2011, NBCUniversal will carry Super Bowl-focused programming not only on NBC Sports Group properties like NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel but also on the NBC broadcast network and its arsenal of cable and digital outlets. This includes Super Bowl content featured on the Today show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Access Hollywood, E! News, Bravo, CNBC, The Weather Channel, Style, Telemundo and mun2, G4, and iVillage.

“We think the entertainment value in audience enjoyment will be very strong, and, therefore, we believe that part will be a huge success leading into the biggest sporting event of the year,” said Lazarus. “In terms of numbers of people, we have roughly 450 people here in town working tirelessly in front of the camera, behind the camera to host guests and to make this an NBCUniversal-wide success.”

Half Dozen Hours of Pregame Coverage
Led by Bob Costas, NBC Sports pregame coverage will include live team-hotel and sideline reports, player features and interviews, game analysis, live musical performances (Lenny Kravitz and The Fray), red-carpet interviews hosted by Nick Cannon, an interview with halftime act Madonna, reports from parties and events outside Lucas Oil Stadium, and a Matt Lauer interview with President Barack Obama.

Costas will be joined by NBC’s full arsenal of Sunday Night Football talent —Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter King, Mike Florio — and guest analysts and previous Super Bowl MVPs Aaron Rodgers and Hines Ward. Liam McHugh, Alex Flanagan (Giants) and Randy Moss (Patriots) will report from the team hotels, and The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore will provide weather reports. In addition, Doug Flutie, Collinsworth, and Harrison will provide player analysis while acting out plays on an on-field set at the stadium.

Bravo culinary show Top Chef will be on-site in Indianapolis with host Tom Colicchio and two contestants competing to create the perfect tailgate food. Dungy and Harrison will determine the winner.

Recently Rebranded Network Goes All Out
One month after being rebranded as NBC Sports Network, the network formerly known as Versus has laid out nearly 20 hours of live Super Bowl programming this week, including daily editions of NBC SportsTalk: LIVE From the Super Bowl. The lineup is highlighted by the first-ever Costas Tonight on Thursday at 8 p.m. The two-hour town-hall–style program will take place in front of a studio audience at Indiana Repertory Theater.

Costas Tonight: Live From the Super Bowl, produced by Ross Greenburg, will feature a one-on-one with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as a coaches panel, state-of-the-game panel, and a Super Bowl XLVI preview panel featuring current owners coaches, players, and NBC analysts.

“We have multiple sets here,” said Lazarus. “We have a studio set inside the media center where we’re doing our NBC Sports Network shows from. Then we’re also utilizing theaters around town, [one of which] will house the Bob Costas town-hall meeting.”

Costas Tonight will be followed by the season finale of NFL Turning Point, co-produced by NFL Films and the NBC Sports Group. The hour-long program, hosted by Patrick, focuses on the crucial turning point in games each week, using NFL Films’ camera work and sideline and on-field audio. This week’s episode focuses on the turning points in the Giants’ and Patriots’ seasons.

Funnyman Feherty Leads the Way for Golf Channel
David Feherty will host a special Feherty Live stage show from Indiana Repertory Theater on Friday night, which Golf Channel will air as a one-hour special Saturday at 10 p.m. In addition, throughout Super Bowl week, Golf Channel’s Morning Drive is featuring various NFL guests talking Super Bowl predictions.

A Look Back at the Commercials
On Monday, once the actual game is in the rear window, CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell will host a Google+ Hangout discussion of Super Bowl commercials. On Friday Feb. 17, during his NBC Sports Network show CNBC Sports Biz: Game On, Rovell will reveal the most popular Super Bowl commercial as selected by YouTube Ad Blitz voters. The Hangout is part of an NBC Sports cross-promotion collaboration with YouTube and its Super Bowl Ad Blitz, an online gallery of Super Bowl commercials.

Rovell will also shoot live spots from Indianapolis Thursday-Sunday and tape an episode of Sports Biz: Game On from Indianapolis on the Friday before the game.

As for the Rest of the NBCU Family…

  • On Friday, Today will be a split show, with Al Roker and Ann Curry in Indianapolis, and the show’s Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie will join the coverage on Super Bowl morning. On the Saturday edition of Weekend Today, Jenna Wolfe will report from Indianapolis.
  • For the first time in the history of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the show has taken to the road — to Indianapolis — this week for a total of four shows, including one first-ever live show on Sunday night after Super Bowl XLVI.
  • NBC’s NewsChannel, which feeds all 235 NBC affiliates nationwide, has numerous reporters on-site in Indianapolis doing live stand-ups for stations and offering technical support for other on-site stations.
  • The Weather Channel’s Cantore, Roker, and Stephanie Abrams are on-site for weather-related reports.
  • E! News is reporting from Indianapolis Wednesday through Monday with correspondents Catt Sadler and David Burtka.
  • Access Hollywood is on-site in Indianapolis with Super Bowl reports Tuesday through Monday.
  • Style will feature a pregame Super Bowl party-planning segment with Bill and Giuliana Rancic.
  • The iVillage female-focused online platform is featuring videos and profiles of wives of NFL players, as well as stories on the Super Bowl community.
  • Telemundo will air a one-hour special, Sabor Al Super Bowl XLVI, on Saturday at 2 p.m., highlighting Super Bowl Week activities.
  • Super Bowl video promotions are running all week long at Universal Parks, the NBC Experience Store, NBC Out-of-Home Platforms (in taxis, universities, arenas, train stations, and gas pumps), and NBC retail stores, as well as on American Airlines in-flight programming.