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HBO Looks at Not-So-Super Bowl

12/16/2003 3:25 AM Eastern

Time was the Super Bowl didn’t command much of the nation’s attention.

HBO Sports will team up with NFL Films to explore the birth of the "Big Game" that has become an unofficial national holiday with the documentary The Wild Ride to Super Bowl I.

The documentary, which debuts on the premium network Jan. 26, will focus on the events leading up to the initial Super Bowl between the National Football League champion Green Bay Packers and their counterparts from the American Football League, the Kansas City Chiefs. Actor Liev Schreiber narrated the film.

The Jan 15, 1967, game, a Packers rout, was televised by both CBS (the NFL rights-holder) and NBC (AFL), but it was blacked out in Los Angeles, where it did not sell out the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Ultimately, the game has been blacked out from TV archives, as neither network saved a tape of the contest.

Further underscoring the game’s humble origins: TV spots cost just $42,000 per 30-second commercial, versus today’s $2 million-plus ante.

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