The biggest football game of the year is finally set to get underway this weekend.
Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens is scheduled for Sunday, Feb.3. The game will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s 11th time that the city will host the event.
The game is expected to be a close one, as the 49ers are favored by 3.5 points. It’s the first appearance in the championship game by either team since 2001.
Ray Lewis will look to lead the Ravens to victory in the final game of his career. The future Hall of Famer has announced that he will retire after the game, no matter the result.
Pregame coverage for the contest will begin at 11 a.m. eastern time on CBS, which will be the only TV network to carry the game. The first three hours of coverage will include a look at New Orleans, a review of the weeks leading up to Super Bowl 47 and former Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms will unveil his All-Iron Team.
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“The NFL Today,” usually airs for one hour before the start of the week’s games, but CBS will broadcast a special version of the pregame show on Sunday. “Super Bowl Today” will start at 2 p.m. ET and end at 6:25 p.m. ET, when the game coverage begins.
The official start time for the 2013 Super Bowl is 6:30 p.m. ET. However, the kick-off may come a few minutes later, because of the coin toss.
Jim Nantz will get the play-by-play duties for the contest. Simms will be in the booth as the color commentator.
Several musical acts are scheduled to perform before the game and at halftime.
Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem, prior to kick-off. Beyoncé will headline the halftime show. She sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVII in 2004.
Regular-season NFL games have a halftime of just 12 minutes, but the break at the 2013 Super Bowl will be much longer. It will likely begin sometime early in the 8 o’clock hour and last for approximately 30 minutes.
The halftime show will be streamed live online for the first time in history. CBSSports.com will allow fans to watch commercials and multiple angles of the field.
An extended halftime and longer commercials usually make for a long game. Before last year’s Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the average length of Super Bowl broadcasts in the past two decades has been three hours and 35 minutes.
The MVP Trophy and Vince Lombardi Trophy will be handed out at the end of the contest. Eli Manning and the Giants were the recipients in 2012.