Each winter, millions of Americans gather around their televisions for Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL).

NFL teams compete throughout the fall for the honor of being one of the top two teams who get to play in the biggest game of the year: the Super Bowl.

Though you may not find it listed on any calendar, Super Bowl Sunday is considered an unofficial holiday in the United States. In fact, after Thanksgiving, more food is eaten on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.

Most years the Super Bowl is the most-watched program on television in America and the second most-watched program worldwide. In February 2010, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts played in the Super Bowl. More than 106.5 million people tuned in for the game, making it the most viewed program in history.

Due to the high number of viewers during the Super Bowl, companies interested in buying commercial airtime pay a high price. In fact, if advertisers want to buy commercial time during the Super Bowl, they can expect to pay more than they would at any other time of the year.

The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial was $37,500 in 1967. By 1994, the cost for the same 30 seconds of airtime was $900,000.

By 2009, the price had risen to approximately $3 million. That’s about $1 million for every 10 seconds!

When advertisers purchase commercial airtime during the Super Bowl, they know two things. First, their commercials will be seen by millions and millions of people. Second, they are going to pay a high price just to buy the airtime.

Because of this, many advertisers invest even more money into developing commercials that are memorable, funny and clever.

Super Bowl commercials have developed a reputation for being very entertaining. In fact, there are many people who don’t even watch the football game but will tune in during breaks just to see commercials.

Over the years, many Super Bowl ads have become some of the most famous commercials in history. There are even websites that track real-time statistics on viewer opinion of Super Bowl commercials. Viewers are able to log in and fill out ballots, voting for their favorite and least favorite Super Bowl commercials.

 

50 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (43 votes, avg. 4.56 out of 5)
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  1. I love Super Bowl and I love the Saints. Thank you for educating me about the Super Bowl. I hope that the Saints are going to Super Bowl this year. WHO DAT!

    • WOW! We can tell you are a really enthusiastic New Orleans Saints fan, Ingrid! We’re glad you got to find out some interesting new things about the Super Bowl by exploring this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  2. My Ma loves to watch games. Once at my uncle Kenny’s house, he was watching a game, and he fell asleep and me and my g-maw painted his toe nails his favorite team’s color. The next day at the beach, when he noticed about his nails, he got mad, but he soon got over it. At home, when my mom watches the games, I’m afraid one day she’ll have a heart attack because when ever her favorite team gets a point, she’ll literally jump off the couch and scream out “Whooa! Goo team! Goo team! You go, guys, whoa!” At that point, it scares me. Sometimes, if I’m bored, I might watch, as you know I’m a girl and out front I love to play football with my uncles and all my family members watch the football games.

    • Those are all AMAZING personal connections to this Wonder, Chris! Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Your family is REALLY into football! We had to chuckle about your uncle’s toenails. That was pretty funny! :-)

  3. I learned that the Superbowl is really important to most Americans and that people get thirty seven dollars five hundred in 1967 every time somebody announced the Super bowl on a commercial …………….

    • Hello, Tiara! Thanks for leaving us such a great comment today! We bet there will be a lot more Wonder Friends like you who will be checking out this Super Bowl Wonder in the upcoming days! YOU ROCK! :-)

    • It used to be a lot cheaper to advertise during the Super Bowl than it is today, Jahvion! Can you imagine paying 3 million dollars (or more) for a short, 30 second commercial? LOTS of people watch the Super Bowl just to see the ads that run during the breaks. It’s almost like commercial-watching is another sport! Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis today! :-)

  4. Football is a very fun sport! I love the Steelers and I was disappointed when they lost. :( But, I watch it every year no matter who makes it, my team or not. :)

    • We think that’s a GREAT attitude to have, Jayde! We think football is fun for many different people…from fans to players! :-)

  5. I don’t like football that much, but I still watch the super bowl for the commercials (which is weird because I hate commercials!) and to see who wins. This year’s super bowl is gonna stink though, because New York and the Patriots are not the best teams, in my opinion. Some people may think differently, but that’s what I think.

    • Well, we think it’s awesome that you shared what YOU think with everyone in Wonderopolis, Hannah! Thanks for letting us know how you feel about the Super Bowl! It’s awesome that you were honest about what you think…the world would be a pretty uninspiring place if everyone felt exactly the same about everything, don’t you think? :-)

    • We hope you learned some fun facts about the Super Bowl by checking out this Wonder, Jacen! Thanks for letting us know you stopped by! :-)

    • Thanks for being such a super Wonder Friend and for letting us know you enjoyed this Wonder, Jack! We really appreciate your comment! :-)

  6. I love football and the Super Bowl is the best part of football .. I like the Redskins and they never win, but I still like them and I think it is a great way to make money.

    • We’re sure the Washington Redskins would be proud to know they have such a huge fan in you, Adalion! Thank you for sharing how you feel about the Super Bowl! :-)

    • We agree, Alan! That’s a WHOLE LOT of Super Bowl snacking! Food manufacturers get in on the Super Bowl advertising, too, in the weeks prior to the big game, hoping to persuade people to buy THEIR ingredients to make all those yummy appetizers, dips and desserts! :-)

  7. I’m not a fan of football because when my family watches, they scream and throw things at the tv…it’s dangerous, but every once and a while I’ll watch a game.

    • It sounds like your family is pretty passionate about their football, Nicole! They might even be Super Fans! Thanks for leaving us this great comment today! :-)

  8. I LOVE the super bowl. I was rooting for the Packers, but they lost to the Giants in the playoffs. I bet you can guess that means this year I’m for the Patriots. I cannot believe it costs so much for the event (commercials, tickets, etc.). I had no idea 3 million dollars is the cost of a tiny 30 sec. commercial.

    • It’s really amazing that such a small amount of time on television can cost so much, isn’t it, Jack? But, when you think of the amount of people who really watch the Super Bowl (and the commercials during the breaks), those advertisers probably think they are getting their money’s worth! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing a little bit about how your classmates in Japan watch the Super Bowl, Man U Rules! We like hearing from our Wonder Friends around the world! :-)

    • We think that’s COOL that you guys have been lucky enough to attend a Super Bowl in real life, R.J. and Abdi, and not just watch it on television! Thanks for sharing that with everyone in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  9. Wonderopolis, this wonder was awesome! I learned that 106.5 million people tuned into the Saints vs the Colts, and 30 second commercials cost was 37,500 dollars! Vocabulary words that I learned is reputation and advertisers. I would like to know why the super bowl cost a lot of money? I am looking forward to more wonders like this.

    P.s Go Ravens!!

    • Hi, Team McNeil 13! $37,500 was what a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl cost WAY BACK in 1967! Today, a 30-second ad that runs during the Super Bowl can cost MILLIONS of dollars! Advertisers know LOTS of people watch the Super Bowl on television, so they are willing to pay BIG BUCKS to advertise their products during the game! :-)

  10. I love the Steelers the are so awesome. :) I was kind of sad they lost though. :( I think you should have more football wonders and it is a great sport.

  11. Does the super bowl have to be on Sunday because we all have work and school on Monday why can’t it be on Saturday so everybody don’t have to miss it on Sunday….. :( This is for all the people who miss the super bowl….

    • You make a great point, Wonder Friend Red! There are lots of people who stay up later than usual on Super Bowl Sunday evening to watch the football game and all the commercials! We think you’re doing a great job of WONDERing! Keep it up! :)

  12. I love football! Did you know the trophy is called the Vince Lombardi Trophy? Football is my favorite sport. I play Fullback on offense, and Left outside end on defense.

    • Thanks for sharing your excitement about football, Ryan! We are glad to know that you have enjoyed WONDERing about the sport with us today! Keep practicing! :)

    • We’re super excited to receive and read your comment about the Super Bowl Wonder, Christopher! Thank you for sharing it with us and THANK YOU for being a friend of Wonderopolis! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What’s so super about Super Bowl Sunday?
  • What is the most-viewed program in television history?
  • How much does Super Bowl commercial airtime cost?

Wonder Gallery

Wonder #126- Superbowl Static ImageVimeo Video

Try It Out

Here’s a fun idea from Education World: Visit the Super Bowl History page, and then click Ticket & Ring in the drop-down menu for most games. Discuss how the design on each ticket represents the city where the Super Bowl was held that year.

Once you have explored several different tickets, create a ticket design that would represent your city or state if the Super Bowl were to come to town.

We’d love to see your Super Bowl ticket! Email or send your design to us:

Wonderopolis HQ
325 West Main Street, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202-4237

 

Still Wondering

Did you know that the Super Bowl presents the perfect opportunity to practice math? Visit Illuminations to study combinations of numbers to produce possible Super Bowl Scores!

 

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