On January 28, 2015 Elias Leight posted an article on Billboard’s website about the spectacular shows that have been presented during Halftime events of the Super Bowl. Along with the article he added a poll, asking it’s readers to vote on the Best Super Bowl Halftime show ever –
“It’s Super Bowl week, which means everyone needs to make important decisions. Who are you rooting for? Which Super Bowl party are you going to attend? And what’s the best Super Bowl halftime show of all time?”
25,000+ votes later – By time Super Bowl Sunday, rolled up on February 1, 2015, Michael Jackson was sitting pretty on top of the Billboard poll – (results shown are as of Jan 30th 2015) See updated poll results at bottom of post.
This result comes as no surprise to Michael Jackson’s vast community of fans and music aficionados. Michael used this time to bring healing to the world and creatively incorporated the audience into the performance something no other artist had ever done. During Superbowl XXVII’s Halftime Show, before performing “Heal The World”, he addressed the following words to the crowd as an introduction to the song:
“Today we stand together all around the world, joined in a common purpose – to remake the planet into a haven of joy and understanding and goodness… No one should have to suffer, especially our children. This time we must succeed. This is for the children of the world”.
His 1993 performance has gone down in the Guiness Book of World Records and the February 3rd 1993 New York Times article confirms the viewing number to be record breakers. While the MJGlobal family waits with great anticipation for Elias Leight and Billboard to concede that Michael Jackson is still indeed, KING let’s examine the other numbers. (*Billboard’s update below in red) The AL.com article proclaims Michael Jackson performance Number ONE- Additionally, Feb 2, 2015 article from All About Jazz states, matter of factly Michael Jackson changed the dynamic of the Half-time show and sent the ratings “to the Moon”
“The turning point came in 1993 at Super Bowl XXVII, held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Radio City and Don Mischer Productions produced a spectacular halftime show starring Michael Jackson, who performed five songs and sent TV ratings to the moon, making it one of the most watched events in TV history. Baby boomers finally outnumbered the Greatest Generation as football viewers and consumers. In the years ahead, the Super Bowl halftime show would become a marquee event, with the nation’s most popular and flamboyant artists being asked to perform to an audience of billions around the world”
And finally – the 1993 NYTimes Article Courtesy of Tweet from DBAnderson1
The Dallas Cowboys’s 52-17 rout of the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII on NBC Sunday attracted a record television audience of 133.4 million viewers, exceeding the previous record of 127 million set in 1986 when the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans.
The total viewership number is a calculation of how many people watched some or all of the game and does not indicate that 133.4 million people were glued nonstop to the contest for more than three hours.
“This event is spectacle,” said Dick Ebersol, the president of NBC Sports. “Why else would so many people who don’t watch football normally watch this?”
Super Bowls comprise nine of television’s 10 most-watched programs, with the lone exception being the final episode of “M*A*S*H,” which attracted 121.6 million viewers on Feb. 28, 1983. Each of the 10 most-watched sports programs are Super Bowls. ‘M*A*S*H*” Still King
Although more viewers watched this Super Bowl than any other program, it ranks only 21st among the top-rated programs in TV history, a list topped by that “M*A*S*H” episode, which measured a 60.2 rating with a 77 share.
The Dallas-Buffalo rating of a 45.1/66 is the the highest since CBS’s 45.8/66 for the New York Giants-Denver Broncos game in 1987, and the 10th highest Super Bowl performance.
One rating point equals 931,000 television households. A share is the percentage of televisions in use tuned to a particular program.
The discrepancy between total viewers and ratings is accounted for by the nation’s population growth. There are now about 10 million more TV households now than there were 10 years ago.
NBC did not think Sunday’s telecast would hit 133.4 million; its most optimistic forecast was 125 million.
Although advertisers, who spent $850,000 for 30-second spots during the game, are happy to get such a huge viewership, the rating remains the key measure, not total viewers.
Advertisers will pay for spots next year based largely on Sunday’s rating.
“You don’t care if it’s a 43.4 or a 39.9, but you’d be really upset if it did a 32,” said Jon Mandel, senior vice president of Grey Advertising.
“Total viewership is a wonderful stat to put on one’s resume, but your average advertiser is into ratings,” said Ebersol.
Ebersol added that he was most pleased by the ratings handiwork woven by Michael Jackson, who starred in a 13-minute halftime show. The game’s second highest-rated half-hour occurred at halftime, and generated a 45.5/65 rating, edging out only the 46.1/67 rating during the final half-hour of the second quarter. Megastar Equal Megaratings
Jackson taught NBC that perhaps only a megastar can prevent viewers from tuning away, as they did last year when CBS’s halftime rating fell 10 points primarily because of live competition from Fox’s ribald comedy program, “In Living Color.”
“Fox did a brilliant job last year,” said Ebersol, “So after last year’s Super Bowl, we went to the league and said, ‘We can’t guarantee we can show the full halftime because we can’t risk this kind of audience.’ Then the league said they’d hired Radio City Music Hall Productions to do this year’s halftime, we drew up a list of performers, and clearly we wanted Michael.”
Frito-Lay, which sponsored “In Living Color” last year as a competitor with the Super Bowl, was a contributor this time, paying for the Jackson production as well as making a donation to Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation.
How did NFL convince Michael Jackson to perform at the Super Bowl is described in Sports Illustrated article reprinted by Time.
“For a month they got nowhere. (The NFL’s Jim) Steeg sat down with the King of Pop’s manager, Sandy Gallin, 11 months before Super Bowl XXVII. “I remember pitching them,” he says, “and them not really having a clue what we were talking about.” At a subsequent meeting, producer Don Mischer pointed out that the Super Bowl would be broadcast in more than 120 countries. Now he had Jackson’s full attention.
Steeg recalls Jackson saying, “So you’re telling me that this show is going live to all those places where I’ll never do a concert?” A pause. “I’m in.”
“Michael worked harder than anybody [who’s done the halftime show], before or since,” says Steeg, who remembers seeing Jackson still rehearsing his act at seven the night before the game, in a tent outside the Rose Bowl.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael Jackson reigns supreme
“…Michael Jackson headlined the halftime show at the Rose bowl produced by Radio City Music Hall. Even though the King of Pop had been a megastar for years, the NBC Sports press department found itself fielding reporter queries about his provocative dance moves.
But Jackson delivered. NBC’s Super Bowl ratings were up 12%, and a new bar was set for the Super Bowl half-time talent. The biggest stars in every popular music genre have been featured in the shows ever since….
The ratings do not go down during the halftime of the Super bowl, which is unheard of at a sporting event, McManus said, who credited Jackson’s appearance with changing the dynamic.” courtesy Sivily Thomas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even SuperBowl Twitter account gave tribute to Michael’s performance on June 25, 2014.
UPDATE – January 30, 2015 Billboard had the cajones to do a write up regarding their question and poll “the BEST Half-Time show ever “- They don’t even post the results of their OWN poll- As of January 30th the date on their article Michael Jackson had been voted number one with an 35% percent over Madonna at 31%- Historically, Billboard has attempted to throw shade on Michael’s achievements so we are not surprised – To read their full article –