From the moment the Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl in 1966 and all the way through the 1970s, tickets to see the game up close and personal averaged just $87.36. That’s roughly the equivalent of dinner and a movie (and popcorn, of course) for two people. By the 1990s, that number had more than doubled to $329.89 on average. A decade later came another jump to $654.78 on average. Flash forward to the 2010s and ticket prices rose to an astronomical $1120.62 on average — or the equivalent of taking everyone on your block out to that same dinner and movie. Now do you understand why most people prefer to watch the BIG GAME on their HDTV sets in the comfort of their own homes?
In 1975, there were about 70.8 million households with television sets across the country. Throughout the decade, an average of 58.1 million people watched the Super Bowl every year, which means pretty much anyone and everyone was tuned into the BIG GAME. That number climbed to 81.6 million and 85.3 million through the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. Over the last few years, that number has grown to a massive 110.9 million per year on average, eclipsing ratings for the series finale of MASH, which itself drew a then record-shattering 105.97 million total viewers during its initial airing. This is due in no small part to the fact that modern television sets make you feel like you’re right in the thick of things. And if you had to pick between spending time on the field for the sporting event of the year or at a mobile army hospital in Korea, you’d probably pick the former.
Everybody knows somebody (or many somebody’s) who say they only tune into the Super Bowl for the commercials. Networks noticed and adjusted their prices accordingly. In the 1970s, the average cost of a Super Bowl commercial was just $97,461.54. In the next decade, it rose to an enormous $463,100. Today, the average cost of just a single commercial during the BIG GAME is $3.9 million, or roughly just below the average salary for a new coach during his first few years in the NFL. Sure, the event itself is fun to watch, but when money like this is on the line and you’ve got a guaranteed audience this huge who can blame the networks for charging this kind of money?
Excerpt extracted from ILSTV