Only known tape of Super Bowl I found

One of the ironic things about the Super Bowl is that the original broadcast had no surviving footage–neither network that broadcast the game bothered to save their tape. It looks like they may have finally found it.

I’m confused… does “the owner” still own the tapes or did he “[donate it] to the center by its owner in return for having it restored.”?

It sounds like the owner is keeping the original tape, and that he ‘donated’ the opportunity for the center to make a copy of it, in exchange for a restored copy for himself. (‘The center says it was allowed to keep a copy…’)

What I think may make it confusing is that you don’t really ‘restore’ the tape itself. You ‘restore’ the information it contains.

Ah-ha. I think I understand. The way the article was written it wasn’t entirely clear what exactly was changing hands.

Yeah, when I started reading I thought the center was getting the original tapes in exchange for a restored copy. But if the center was ‘allowed to keep a copy’, it sounds like the owner is keeping the originals.

The article said that Sports Illustrated said that if a recording of the game existed it would be worth over $1 million. For all I know, that number was anally-derived. But I think NFL could make much more than that. The tapes have already been restored, so they don’t have to spend the money on that. They would have to create and package DVDs, including producing additional audio tracks and ‘extras’ (NFL Films has the sideline footage, shot on 16mm so it’s more stable than video), and they’d have marketing expenses. But still, how many Super Bowl fans are there today? Tens of millions? If less than one percent of them bought a DVD for, say, $29.95, that would make a tidy profit even if they spent a megabuck to get the footage. Give the guy his million. NFL won’t make any money by not acquiring it and releasing it.

Heck, there’s probably 1% of the fans who would spend that on a DVD of just any random Superbowl. But this being the very first one, and having the added mystique of having been lost for all these years, just makes it all the more desirable.

I’m a ‘football newbie’, so I tried to be conservative with my guess.

A quick search shows that 106 million people watched the game last year. I reckon a lot of people are like me; they have an interest, but they either don’t know enough about the game or else have higher-priority interests and shouldn’t be called ‘fans’. If only half of people who watched the game are ‘fans’, that’s 53 million people. Some of these fans are families. To continue with my Bad Analysis™, let’s say 25% are, and let’s guess that there are three ‘fans’ per family. Call it 13 million families, and let’s assume three fans per family. Round it down to four million potential ‘buyers’ in the family units, and about 40 million potential single buyers. 44 million copies, right? (Did I mention I suck at math?)

So if half of the viewers are actual ‘fans’, and if a quarter of them are in family units that will only buy one copy, and if one percent of the actual fans buy a copy of the DVD, that’s 4.4 million sales. What’s that at $30/copy? $132 million gross?

Again: I suck at math, I have almost no actual data, and I’m making this stuff up on the fly. But even if I’m off by an order of magnitude, NFL’s $30,000 offer for the video seems rather parsimonious.

Super bowl 1 lives in my memory banks. The Packers just went to work playing hard and solid Lombardi football. KC had a DB who made all kinds of noise and predictions. I think he was knocked cold. GB just out blocked and out tackled them.
I(t was at the time of the merger and both sides were crowing about how much better their brand of football was. NFL dominated.

Let’s be honest, dude. The Packers dominated. After Super Bowl II the AFL won the last two pre-merger championships. It’s been argued that the AFL might have beaten the NFL into submission had they not merged. I don’t know about all that, but the NFL has adopted virtually every innovation the AFL adopted in the 1960s.

Anyway, I think it would be a real shame if this game continued to be lost because of a childish squabble. The NFL should understand that this game doesn’t exist without this guy’s tape and pay him fair value for it. $300,000? That’s insulting for such a unique and valuable piece of history.

Worse, they only offered him one-tenth that.

:::Carnac puts the envelope to his head and predicts…

The NFL will up their offer to $1 million. The owner will sell–mainly since there may be legal hassles as to who really owns the coverage.

The owner will decide that he doesn’t need the hassle, and sells. Everyone is happy.

The AFL would have beaten the NFL except they were creamed in the first 2 Superbowls. The 3rd was a freak.

It is silly to think that during the 1970s the AFL would’ve beaten the NFL into submission, given that the first post-merger Super Bowl was played between two NFL teams (Baltimore and Dallas), and ex-NFL team Pittsburgh won 4 titles in the 1970s while Dallas itself won two.

While the owner has the physical tape, he does not have the right to sell copies, charge admission to see it, rebroadcast or any other use without the express written permission of the NFL. He can sell the physical tape. The NFL should offer him, let us borrow the tape and make a good copy, you keep the original, and here have some Super Bowl tickets for life. The BBC has a similar offer to anyone coming up with lost episodes of Doctor Who.

I disagree. Neither party can make any money from the tapes unless they make an agreement. NFL will make tens of millions of dollars from the deal. The person who has the extremely rare tapes should be allowed to keep the original tape, which he can’t use, and get free tickets? That doesn’t sound equitable. Based solely on Sports Illustrated claim that the tapes are worth over a million dollars (to anyone who has them, not to the distributor), the guy should get a million dollars – and if he has a good lawyer, a point in the distribution.

Actually, a legal argument can be made that the NFL does not have copyright on the footage. Copyright is established by fixing the work into a tangible form, and neither the NFL nor their agents did so in this case. I’m no lawyer, but if that argument holds water, it would seem to imply that the material is in the public domain.

Well, it took a while, but I guess my question has been answered!

The NFL would pay the owner of the tape fair value for it, but remember that the owners are all broke. That’s why they have to break the players’ union … I mean negotiate fairer terms on their labor agreement. They’re not going to show anyone their books. We’ll all just have to take them at their word that they’re broke. (Just like we all are supposed to swallow their hypocrisy about concern for players injuries and the proposed 18-game schedule.)

But once the owners obtain a fair deal with the players, I’m sure they will be able to afford to buy the tape and make Super Bowl I available to the public.

Heck, maybe Goodell can make this one of his talking points. Those greedy players are trying to keep the NFL from recovering the lost footage of Super Bowl I.

What’s really weird in reading your past thread, cmkeller, is that nobody mentions that some plays from Super Bowl I are easily accessible on YouTube (and SB III is there almost in its entirety).

Then I realized that the discussion was held in January 2005, a few weeks before the site opened.

Was it only 6 years ago that we could live without YouTube? :eek:

If you call that living…