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January 25, 2024 6:26 pm  #1

How The Very First Super Bowl Broadcast Was Almost Lost To History

It was the most famous game in football history that almost no one ever saw again. Hard as it is to believe, the very first Super Bowl broadcast was long thought lost to history. The reason? Neither of the networks - NBC and CBS, which shared coverage back then - that showed that original contest between the Packers and the Chiefs bothered to save the tapes, something that just wasn't done in those days. 

Now a rare copy has turned up and the story of how it came to be is almost as incredible as the game itself.

"It was captured by pure happenstance. In 1967, Martin Haupt was a Pennsylvania engineer who wasn’t involved in the game’s broadcast. But the technician, who repaired and managed television equipment, had the gadgetry and expertise to record the game on 2-inch tapes.

The extraordinary recording by Haupt, who died in 1977, sat undisturbed for decades in an attic of the family’s home in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. In 2016, Haupt’s son, Troy, publicly announced he had inherited the footage and donated the tapes to the museum.

 It’s unclear why Haupt recorded the broadcast."

Although he didn't get the entire thing - parts of it are missing - this rare bit of TV history will be shown at a New York exhibit and hopefully one day, it may well make its way back to TV for the first time in more than 50 years. 

How the first Super Bowl was saved from being forgotten forever


February 16, 2024 10:57 am  #2

Re: How The Very First Super Bowl Broadcast Was Almost Lost To History

It turns out they're treating the only partial footage of the first Super Bowl like it was some kind of state secret. Select reporters are allowed to go in to see this long lost Holy Grail of broadcasting, but they can't take any cameras, recording devices or even their cell phones with them. Somehow, this has become something that only a few have the privilege of watching. 

So what does it show? There are a few revelations that, to me, are incredible. One is the astounding fact that the second half kick-off had to be completely replayed. Why? An NBC interview with Bob Hope ran overtime and the network missed it. So they did it again! Imagine if that happened now. 

And the story also relates how an attempt at a new fangled broadcast innovation almost led to someone in the crowd being killed.

My hope is that someday they'll make this bit of history accessible to the public. There doesn't seem to be any reason to keep people from seeing it and I'm sure the curiosity factor alone would be huge. 

Five things you may learn from those who have actually seen the first Super Bowl broadcast

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