An Eyeball-Bustin' Super Sunday,1,4251,00.html

by Joal Ryan

Are you ready for some hype? The Super Bowl’s Sunday.

Fox’s pre-pre-game coverage starts at dawn (well, 11 a.m. EST). The regular pregame show (all four hours of it) starts at 2 p.m. EST. Game time is 6 p.m. EST, which is not to be confused with kickoff time because before the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons can actually play the stupid game, Cher has to sing the National Anthem.

Exhausted yet? Hope not. Because we haven’t gotten to…THE COMMERCIALS!

Catch your breath.

Here we go: Number of advertisers: 32. Average price per 30-second spot: $1.6 million. Average price of each second in those pricey spots: $53,333. Last year’s U.S. TV audience: 133.4 million.

Returning veterans: Budweiser, Pepsi, M&Ms, FederalExpress, Frito-Lay.

Rookies: Victoria’s Secret, World Wrestling Federation. M.I.A.s: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, IBM.

The Coke and burger camps, in particular, are reportedly scaling back their football buys – concerned about the game’s aging demographics.

Back from hiatus: Apple Computers, returning for the first time since its landmark 1984 Super Bowl spot for the Macintosh – the ad that made ads the big-budget popcorn pictures they are today. Sunday’s ad will feature HAL, the dulcet-toned computer star of 2001.

Biggest advertiser: Budweiser, buying more than five minutes of time.

Best reason to hide the wife: Jerry Seinfeld’s back on the loose with a new commercial for American Express.

Proof that even Fox has standards: The network rejected the first spot submitted by newbie

Proof that Fox is still Fox: The spot that finally won approval features a security guard tempted by scantily clad women.

Whew. But wait…there’s more! What about halftime (Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)?

What about the post-game show?

What about the post-post-game series premiere (Family Guy)?

What if you just spend the evening quietly watching Muppet Treasure Island on ABC?