Super Bowl attracts 133 million U.S. viewers, showcases HD

The event ranked fifth on the list of most-watched programming in television history and served as a catalyst for HDTV’s continued advancement into the home
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A total of 133.7 million Americans tuned into FOX Sports to watch the New England Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles during Sunday’s coverage of Super Bowl XXXIX.

The event ranked fifth on the list of most-watched programming in television history and tops the list of most highly watched shows on the 19-year-old FOX network.

FOX Sports produced the game in 720p and distributed SD and HD versions using some innovative technologies, which included a series of specially placed “Turf Cams” tucked into end zone pylons and the field; HD nonlinear editing on Apple G5 Macintosh computers; and MPEG-2 encoding to transmit the events to affiliates around the country in native 720p HD.

Coverage of the event in high-definition has been credited by several surveys for boosting consumer interest in purchasing HDTVs, and the Consumer Electronics Association reported a 45 percent increase in sales of DTV products at retail electronics stores in anticipation of HD coverage of the Super Bowl.

For more information on the use of Turf Cam, read “FOX Sports Turf Cam to capture Super Bowl from the trenches.”

For more information on retail HDTV sales related to the Super Bowl, read “DTV sales grow 45 percent in December 2004.”

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