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Media column: Super Bowl TV preview

We'll post our Sunday buzz later, with Dolphins, Canes and Heat news. For a few hours in this space, I'm posting the Super Bowl TV preview for our newspaper preview section: 

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Never has a network immersed itself more in a Super Bowl city than CBS, which is originating 15 programs from New Orleans --- everything from last week’s 6:30 p.m. newscasts to the morning gabfest, The Talk, to a four-hour pregame show on Sunday.

“I’ve never seen an initiative in my 28 years here that’s this large,” CBS’ Jim Nantz said.

CBS Sports president Sean McManus admitted: “There is a danger of overdoing it, but it’s different kinds of programming. No one is going to confuse The Talk with Jim Rome’s show. They’re appealing to a different kind of audience. But I don’t think we’ve reached the saturation level.”

But, McManus asks rhetorically: “Can you concentrate so much on the ancillary programming that you forget about the game? We’ve talked about that internally.”

Some nuggets on CBS’ plans:

### The seven-hour pregame lineup begins with NFL Films’ annual Road to the Super Bowl at 11 a.m.; followed by a special on the city of New Orleans, hosted by Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer Wynton Marsalis at noon; Phil Simms’ All-Iron team at 1 p.m.; and a four-hour live pregame show at 2 p.m.

### Among those who will be profiled/interviewed on the pre-game: Jim and John Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick (by Dan Marino), Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Vernon Davis, Ravens senior advisor of player development O.J. Brigance (suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease), Colts coach Chuck Pagano (focusing on his battle with leukemia during the season).

CBS also has a feature on player safety and another on high school football player Zack Golditch, who was injured in the Aurora, Col., movie theatre shooting in July. Ray Rice, Justin Smith and Aldon Smith deliver first-person accounts of their teams’ journey to the Super Bowl.

Rachel Ray has the obligatory cooking segment and OneRepublic and Matchbox Twenty perform. Also, CBS news anchor Scott Pelley interviews President Obama at 4:30 p.m.

 ### McManus said the New Orleans special -- which will focus on the city’s music, food, culture and past Super Bowls -- “is the right thing to do. If we wanted to get a higher rating, I could do a show on the world’s greatest NFL cheerleaders.”

SUPER BOWL MEDIA NOTES     

### Simms will be working his seventh Super Bowl, which trails only John Madden’s 11 among analysts.

Nantz, working his third Super Bowl, said legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg, who called eight Super Bowls, told him over dinner last weekend that the best feedback he ever received was after the 1983 Super Bowl, when Enberg and Merlin Olsen spoke a lot less, “in short, clipped phrases” because they were getting annoying feedback in their headsets in the first quarter.

“Dick passed that on to me as a wonderful teaching point,” Nantz said. “It’s one of those games where ‘less is more’ is pretty appropriate.”

Simms uses tiresome jargon less than other analysts: “I don’t give very intricate football terms,” he said. “I understand the fan sitting at home, you need to make it as simple as possible. We’re not going to confuse [viewers].”

### If Baltimore wins, CBS will walk a fine line in covering, but not overdoing, the postgame focus on Ray Lewis, whose over-the-top emotion wears on some viewers. Meanwhile, Nantz said: “I can’t wait to see the [Harbaughs] meet at midfield when the game ends. It’s going to be one of the greatest moments ever.” 

### For the first time, CBS will use “Huyeper Zoom” high-resolution system that “will give our replays four times the resolution of our regular replays,” McManus vows. “When you used to zoom in on a replay, it got very cloudy.”

McManus admits “there is some pressure” on Super Bowl networks to unveil something new. Also, CBS has slightly altered its graphics to “make them look a little fresher.”

### CBS hired Packers linebacker Clay Matthews as a contributing analyst on its pregame show Sunday.

### The network will use 62 cameras, well above the 9 to 12 on most regular season games. Two will focused mostly on the Harbaugh brothers.

### Super Bowl ads sold for a record average of $3.8 million, with some priced over $4 million.

### For its on-line coverage of the game, CBS will stream numerous alternate camera views, including a “fan’s choice” that allows viewers to select an angle.

### CBS Sports Network will air a Super Bowl postgame show for the first time, competing with ESPN’s. “It’s the highest profile branding opportunity CBS Sports Network has ever had,” McManus said.

### Brett Favre is joining NFL Network as a studio analyst Sunday. 

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