WASHINGTON — The Super Bowl is far more than a football game, and has been for years now. It is arguably the formative televised American cultural event, bringing together fans and non-fans alike. It has spawned entire cottage industries and dominates the headlines for two weeks leading into the game.
Since 2005, Super Bowl viewership has risen every year except one (dipped from 111.3 million viewers in 2012 to 108.4 in 2013 before setting a new high of 111.5 last year), rising nearly 30 percent over the past 10 years.
Meanwhile, after cracking $2 million per 30-second ad in 1999, the cost of a Super Bowl spot will leap from $4 to $4.5 million this year. NBC — which took over the broadcast this year — announced it had filled its spots on Wednesday, just four days before the game. While that was much later than FOX, which filled its slots roughly two months before the 2014 game, it shows that advertisers are still willing to pay outrageous rates to be part of the biggest TV event of the year.
As such, the Super Bowl offers something for everyone. Some of you are probably wondering whether the Patriots will use five defensive linemen to slow Seattle’s vaunted rushing attack, while others are more focused on whether you should be frying or smoking your wings. We asked the WTOP newsroom what they are most looking forward to on Sunday, and the wide range of answers should come as no surprise.