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Although it is consistently one of the most-watched sporting events in the United States[1], television networks and channels have often attempted to counter-program against the Super Bowl with original programming. Most counter-programming occurs during the halftime period of the game, trying to sway viewers away from the Super Bowl broadcast while the game is not in progress.[2] In addition, despite it being a championship game putting the two best NFL teams against each other, the majority of Super Bowls have been blowouts. No Super Bowl to date has gone into overtime and teams that acquire a 10-point lead or higher in the fourth quarter are undefeated.

The first major success at counter-programming the Super Bowl halftime show came with Fox's broadcast of a special live football-themed episode of its popular sketch comedy show In Living Color during the halftime of Super Bowl XXVI, which attained a viewership of over 20 million. The most commercially successful counter-programming of the Super Bowl halftime show has been the annual Lingerie Bowl, drawing millions of viewers and national American advertisers.

After the Janet Jackson incident in 2004, the NFL has invited more conservative halftime musical acts such as Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Rolling Stones. Recent recurring programs have included Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, a program featuring dogs playing in a model football stadium (with its own "halftime show" featuring cats), and the Lingerie Bowl, a series of pay per view broadcasts of all-female football games played in lingerie - which was also spun-off into its own league.

List of Super Bowl counters

Super Bowl Year Network Program Notes
XXVI 1992 Fox In Living Color 20 million viewers[2]
XXVIII 1994 MTV Beavis and Butt-head "Butt Bowl I"
XXIX 1995 MTV Beavis and Butt-head "Butt Bowl II"
XXX 1996 MTV Beavis and Butt-head "Butt Bowl III"
XXXII 1998 MTV Celebrity Deathmatch '98 Howard Stern vs. Kathie Lee Gifford; Pamela Anderson Lee vs. RuPaul; Hanson vs. The Spice Girls.
XXXIII 1999 USA WWF Sunday Night Heat "Halftime Heat": The Rock vs Mankind; 5 million viewers
XXXVII 2003 NBC Weekend Update aired live with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey[2]
NBC Fear Factor Playboy Playmates edition;11.4 million viewers[2]
XXXVIII 2004 PPV Lingerie Bowl
XXXIX 2005 PPV Girls Gone Wild "Halftime Games"
Animal Planet Puppy Bowl[2][3]
XL 2006 Animal Planet Puppy Bowl II[2][3]
PPV Lingerie Bowl II
XLI 2007 Animal Planet Puppy Bowl III[2][3]
PPV Lingerie Bowl III
PPV Howard Stern's Stupid Bowl III "Boys vs. Girls"
Hallmark Channel From the Heart "Favorite Commercials from Hallmark Cards"
XLII 2008 Animal Planet Puppy Bowl IV[2][3][4]
PPV Lingerie Bowl IV
Spike Major League Eating Chowdown[4] Ham 'n Eggs
Oxygen Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love[4] "Supersneak"
XLIII 2009 ABC Wipeout "Wipeout Bowl I"/"Superball Sunday"; Halftime edition drew 6 million viewers [1]
Animal Planet Puppy Bowl V
XLIV 2010 Animal Planet Puppy Bowl VI

References

  1. ^ Associated Press (2006-02-07). "Super Bowl 2nd-most watched show ever". MSNBC.com. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11205332/. Retrieved 2007-01-15.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Hibberd, James (December 8, 2008). "'Wipeout' special set for Super Sunday". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3iea59cb79796a9dff7024386d316b0583. Retrieved 2008-12-26.  
  3. ^ a b c d Ryzik, Melena (February 2, 2008). "'Just Fine as Tackles, but They Can’t Pass". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/02/arts/television/02bark.html.  
  4. ^ a b c Ardent, Joe (January 31, 2008). "ABC's of Super Bowl XLII". The Press-Enterprise. http://www.pe.com/lifestyles/stories/PE_Fea_Daily_D_super_abc01.1ec8eb5.html. Retrieved 2008-12-26.  
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