Super Bowl XLIV was the most-watched event in television history, with 106.5-million viewers tuning in Sunday to see the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts 31 to 17. CBS execs now have to hope that a few among those record numbers have long memories as none of the all-day coverage of the big game is eligible to compete at the Sports Emmys till next year.
When the nominations are announced next month for the 31st anniversary edition of the Sports Emmys, it will be Super Bowl XLIII that contends. NBC carried that 2009 game in which the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-13.
Fox aired the 2008 game in which the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14. That Super Bowl lost the race for live sports special at the Emmys to NBC's coverage of the 108th U.S. Open. Although it did win for best opening/tease, the Super Bowl lost bids for both writing and graphic design.
The last time CBS aired the Super Bowl was in Feburary 2007, when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29 to 17. At the April 2008 Sports Emmys award fest, that CBS coverage lost to the Fox broadcast of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, in which Boise State beat Oklahoma in overtime, 43 to 42. CBS had also earned two noms for "Super Bowl Today" as best long feature, as well as bids for best opening and editing.
Illustration: Tom O'Neil