1967: The Year Of The First Superbowl

By Kanyi M

On January 15th, 1967, the Green Bay Packers played the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I. The American Football League (AFL) and NFL had merged just two years prior to this game. This was also the first Super Bowl with an official name instead of a number or symbol. The halftime show starred comedian Bob Hope and his wife Dolores Hope singing ‘the Star-Spangled Banner and America’s National Anthem before a crowd of 60,000 people at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.

This was the first Super Bowl game to be televised on more than one channel. NBC partnered with CBS to cover the game. Al Michaels of NBC called the first half, while Jack Buck and Pat Summerall called the second half. How has the super bowl changed in the last 50 years?

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1) In 1967, each ticket was $12 and the stadium was never full

NFL wasn’t a popular sport in the united states until the ’70s, so tickets were pretty cheap. This remains the case today. The attendance for this particular game was 61,946 people. In 2012, The Super Bowl was watched by 111 million Americans and over a billion people worldwide, making it the most viewed event in history.

2) The halftime show in 1967 was a lot more tame

In 1967, Bob Hope entertained the crowd with his wife Dolores at halftime. Also, they showed a marching band performance on CBS while NBC had an interview with crew members who had flown on NASA Gemini 6. There were no scantily-clad dancers, no Elvis & no musical acts.

3) The advertisements

In 1967, the commercials were all pretty straightforward. They were played before and during the game, but there was no break in the action. The first commercial shown during a Super Bowl was a 15-second ad for a soap opera. Prices for ads have skyrocketed over the years as companies pay millions of dollars to be featured on national television. In 2012, NBC charged advertisers $3 million for a 30-second spot which is pretty insane considering those same 30 seconds would only cost them $80,000 in 1967 dollars.

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4) The lack of special effects

The 1967 super bowl was broadcast via two television stations. This meant that any special tricks like flying animals were done by hand, rather than the latest special effects. For example, when Roger Staubach threw a pass to Drew Pearson in Super Bowl XIX, it was essentially two cameras showing the football in slow motion.