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The post-game show

Friday, January 26, 2001

Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Usually Super Bowl weekend is all about the hype of the game. To a lesser extent it's about the expensive and oftentimes creative commercials. Not this year. This time, "Survivor 2" is backed by a hype machine that's unparalleled.

"Do you think Richard Hatch kicking off would be too much?" CBS president Leslie Moonves joked about "Survivor" promotions during the game.

But it was only a partial joke. The synergy between "Survivor" and the Super Bowl will be obvious to anyone watching the Ravens compete against the Giants.

"Other than using the Super Bowl to help promote 'Survivor,' there will be a couple of the 'Survivor 1' people at the game," Moonves said. "And I'm sure we may cut to them once or twice. There will be some mentions of 'Survivor' by [sports announcers] Phil [Simms] and Greg [Gumbel] a couple of times."

"Assuming they want to work next year," CBS Sports president Sean McManus jokingly added.

Why don't we hear Simms and Gumbel yukking it up over all these jokes?

While there's always much discussion of the cost of Super Bowl ads (this year they're running around $2.1 million per 30-second spot), the amount of money advertisers are spending on "Survivor" is also generating interest.

Nine "marketing partners" have ponied up $12 million each to place ads (and products) on "Survivor 2." Seven of the sponsors -- Bud Light, Doritos, Dr. Scholl's, Pontiac Aztek, Reebok, Target and Visa -- also advertised during the original "Survivor." Cingular and Mountain Dew are new to the show.

But what if the unthinkable happens and the Super Bowl is a blowout? What if people start abandoning their TVs out of boredom?

"If it's a blowout, we may eliminate showing the fourth quarter and go right to 'Survivor 2,' " Moonves said.

Don't worry, he was joking again. I think.



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