Super Bowl I Original Broadcast Found

Chances are you've seen photographs.  Read about the game.  Maybe even seen the NFL Films highlight video.  But you've never seen a Super Bowl I original broadcast.  Soon, you might.  A local TV recording of the January 1967 game has been found and restored.

There were no modern day VCRs back then, but if you were committed and knew people in the right places--such as at a broadcast station--you could preserve a game.  The problem, of course, was playing it back.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the broadcast isn't complete, but most of the big plays are there and it's in color.

The first Super Bowl then referred to as the "AFL-NFL World Championship Game", was played in Los Angeles.  There were plenty of empty seats in the Coliseum, since the AFL was still considered inferior by many and the game was seen by many as more of an exhibition.  Still, fans realized a merger was likely coming and the game was the first time that an AFL team really got to measure itself against the much older NFL.  Of course, Vince Lombardi's Packers were superior to the Chiefs and the Raiders in the first two games, but in Super Bowl III, the New York Jets proved the AFL had caught up.

The broadcast was restored by the Paley Center in New York.  The owner's father had recorded it and his son wants to show it to the public, but of course, there are financial considerations involved.  It had been considered one of the 'holy grails' of sports broadcasts and some estimated its worth at $1 million or more.  The NFL, according to the WSJ, offered $30,000 and believes it retains the rights to all league broadcasts, prohibiting them from being re-sold by anyone.  The legal wrangling could take awhile, but it's safe to say no one will make money until the game is made available on TV or video.

You can bet it will be seen first on the NFL Network.

Finding the Super Bowl I original broadcast is exciting stuff for the NFL and fans, but even more thrilling for Packer fans who embrace the history of the team and especially the Lombardi era.  His Packers were at their zenith as the two rival leagues began to compete on the field and fans will finally get a chance to watch them again in real time.  You can see the WSJ's video report below, which contains a brief clip of the broadcast.




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