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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Super Bowl is the championship game of professional American football. It is the championship game of the National Football League, and is the most important American football competition. Today, it is held annually on a Sunday in early February, and it is one of the most-watched television broadcasts of the year.
An AFL-NFL Championship Game was first played after the 1966 football season on January 15, 1967, between the champions of the American Football League and the NFL. The game was a result of the merger agreement between the two leagues that took full effect for the 1970 season. The third such game, after the 1968 season, was called the "Super Bowl", and that name is now used to refer to the first two AFL-NFL Championship Games as well.
The name was inspired by Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt's daughter playing with a small rubber ball with high bouncing powers called a super ball. After the 1970 season, the game reverted from an essentially interleague championship to the NFL championship, featuring the champions of the NFL's two conferences, the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. The winning team recieves the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games. The trophy was named prior to Super Bowl V in his honor following his death in 1970.
Previous to the 1966 football season, American professional football's championship games were played for various league championships, and games were not played between league champions. The game was called the "All-America Football Conference Championship Game", the "AFL Championship Game" or the "NFL Championship Game", depending on the league playing it. (See: Professional American football championship games and National Football League championships).
Ratings and commercials
The Super Bowl tends to have high Nielsen Ratings which usually come in around a 40 rating and 60 share (i.e. on average, 40 percent of U.S. households, and 60 percent of all homes tuned into television during the game). This means that on average, 80 to 90 million Americans are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment. Also it is estimated that 130-140 million tune into some part of the game. The most watched Super Bowl was 1998's Super Bowl XXXII between the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers which received a 44.5 rating and 67 share, attracting 90 million viewers. In terms of household percentage, the most watched was Super Bowl XVI in 1982 which was watched in 49.1% of households (73 share) or 40,020,000 households at the time.
Following Apple Computer's 1984 commercial introducing the Apple Macintosh computer, directed by Ridley Scott, the broadcast of the Super Bowl became the premier showcase for high concept or simply extravagantly expensive commercials. Famous commercial campaigns include the Budweiser "Bud Bowl" campaign, and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. Prices have increased each year, reaching $2.4 million (US) for a 30 second spot during Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.
For more information on the Superbowl, please refer to Wikipedia.org.